by Linda Straker
- Grenada re-established diplomatic relations with China on 20 January 2005
- Active and colourful cultural exchanges between two countries over past 15 years
- 1,855 Grenadians have taken Chinese courses at TAMCC’s Confucius Classroom
15 years after re-establishing diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, Grenada has reaffirmed to the One China policy, and at the same time has expressed satisfaction with the level of activities occurring between both countries through bilateral cooperation.
“Mr Ambassador, tonight we formally place on record our satisfaction and pleasure with the deep and meaningful relations between St George’s and Beijing, as well as an expression of our renewed commitment to continue our co-operation at the international level for the mutual benefit of our people,” Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, said on Tuesday night during a reception to mark the 15th anniversary.
David said that when Grenada re-established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on 20 January 2005, it joined the vast majority of countries around the world which have embraced the policy, and, at the same time made a conscious effort to advance a foreign policy aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of its people. “15 years later, it can be said that the relations between our two countries have progressed to the extent that the seeds of our collective efforts have already begun to blossom and in many instances, to bear fruits.” David used the opportunity to outline some of the tangible and intangible benefits gained through mutual cooperation.
David said that the aid consists of grants, interest-free loans, concessional loans, technical cooperation, human resource development cooperation, Chinese medical teams working abroad, emergency humanitarian aid, and debt relief.
Referring to China Belt and Road Initiative, David said that Grenada believes that the initiative which will provide millions to developing countries in grant aid, conforms to the inherent requirements of the reform of the global governance system, demonstrates the concept of a community with a shared future, and showcases the characteristics of jointly sharing rights and responsibilities.
In his remarks, Dr Zhao Yongchen, who is the fourth ambassador China has assigned to Grenada, used the occasion to breakdown some of the benefits China has brought to Grenada. Highlighting the development of the country’s human resource, he said that during the past 15 years there have been active and colourful cultural exchanges between the two countries.
“Since the official establishment of the Confucius Classroom at TA Marryshow Community College in October 2015, 1,855 Grenadians have taken Chinese courses there. By the end of 2019, more than 2,100 Grenadians have participated in training and advanced education in China,” he told guests which comprised former and current parliamentarians, former and current ministers of government as well as members of the diplomatic community.
200 Grenadian students have been awarded Chinese government scholarships to study in China, and more than 1,900 person-times participated in short-term training courses.
The ambassador said the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2005 opened a new chapter of bilateral exchanges. “Though thousands of miles apart, our two peoples share the same dream of development,” he said, pointing out that throughout the past 15 years, the two sides have deepened mutual political trust constantly.
“Both sides have always respected and taken care of each other’s core interests. China stands for the equality of all countries, large or small. China respects Grenada’s sovereignty and independence never interferes in Grenada’s internal affairs and helps Grenada build up its independent development.” The ambassador expressed appreciation that China highly appreciates Grenada’s adherence to the One China Principle.
“The two sides have kept sound communications and cooperation on both international and regional issues supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns, and played an important role in safeguarding the interests of developing countries, maintaining regional and world peace and security, as well as maintaining the international order,” he said.
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