Chinese Ambassador Zheng Qingdian (left), Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade A.J. Nicholson at a reception in 2012 to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Jamaica. – Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Zheng Qingdian, Guest Columnist
The Chinese people have always had the dream of the Great Harmony of all and longed for a beautiful society with noble virtue, material plenty, equality and equity.
Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping promoted the idea of a Chinese dream, which would spur the rejuvenation of the nation. It centred on the country’s prosperity and people’s happiness.
The Chinese government has eyed two goals. One is that when the Communist Party of China celebrates its 100th anniversary (2021), China will be a moderately prosperous society. The second is that when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 100th anniversary in the middle of the century (2049), China will be a prosperous, democratic, civilised and harmonious socialist modern country.
Pursuing the Chinese dream is conducive to realising the world’s dream of durable peace and common prosperity. China cannot develop itself in isolation from the rest of the world, and global prosperity and stability cannot be maintained without China.
China continues to be committed to development that will promote transnational cooperation. China will continue to work with the international community to realise the world’s dream of durable peace and common prosperity.
Mr Xi visited Trinidad and Tobago on May 31. This was the first visit to the Caribbean by a sitting president of China. During his trip, Mr Xi held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Caribbean countries with which China has diplomatic relations, including Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. It was a milestone of China-Caribbean relations.
China and Jamaica are good friends and good partners, with a long history of amicable exchanges. The first group of Chinese people came to Jamaica roughly 150 years ago. The Chinese have successfully become part of Jamaica’s diverse society and culture.
When I walk in the park, my Jamaican friends always smile at me and call me ‘Mr Chin’. Sprint superstar Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, became hero in the hearts of Chinese people. More and more Chinese youth like reggae, rum and Blue Mountain Coffee.
China and Jamaica have always respected each other’s core interests. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972, regardless of international trends, the Jamaican Government has always supported a ‘One China’ policy. China has always supported the Jamaican people’s efforts at nation building and economic development.
This is the golden age of Sino-Jamaican relations. China and Jamaica held various functions to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year. Recent years have also witnessed frequent high-level visits. Several Chinese leaders have visited Jamaica, while many Jamaican ministers also journeyed to China.
Our bilateral economic cooperation has proved fruitful. China has become Jamaica’s fourth-largest trade partner since 2009. Chinese companies actively invest in Jamaica. That investment not only stimulates the Jamaican economy but also creates thousands of work opportunities for Jamaican people.
The exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, education and human exchange have deepened. Chongqing Singing and Dancing Troupe and the Jiangsu Puppet Troupe successfully visited Jamaica last year. Many Jamaican government officials and technicians were trained in China.
The Confucius Institute has trained many Jamaican students who not only know Chinese language but also Chinese culture. They have become goodwill envoys between our two countries.
Now, the relationship of China and Jamaica stands at a new starting point in history and faces major opportunities. The Chinese would like to enhance the mutual trust, and further deepen the economic and trade cooperation, and strengthen human exchange. China would like to work with Jamaica to explore the potential in the fields of agriculture, tourism, and renewable energy.
I think that Jamaican people, like the Chinese, have their own dreams. I firmly believe that if all the Jamaican people worked hard together, they could realise their dreams in this beautiful island.
China will always stand with Jamaica – hand by hand, shoulder by shoulder, and heart by heart.
Zheng Qingdian is Chinese ambassador to Jamaica. Email feedback to email@example.com.