by HE Wei Hongtian, Chinese Ambassador to Grenada
16 years ago, as the communique on the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Grenada was nailed down, hands of the two foreign ministers were tightly clutched together, with the sincere beam hanging on their faces. This historic moment of bilateral relationship was snapped up by the photographer, and it indeed ushered in a new era of solid friendship.
As the new Ambassador of China to Grenada, I set foot on this beautiful land with excitement and an overwhelming sense of mission — deepening bilateral relations, expanding practical cooperation, consolidating enduring friendship, and more importantly, enhancing and further cementing the friendship between our two peoples. Over the past 16 years, our relationship has set a model of peaceful coexistence between countries of different size, cultural traditions and political systems — political mutual trust substantially strengthened, practical cooperation in various fields, such as infrastructure, housing, education, human resources development, agriculture, sports, culture and law enforcement elevated to a higher level, and people-to-people exchanges and communications engraved on every story of our fraternity.
Faced with the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, China and Grenada have stood together and exhibited the determination to overcome this challenge shoulder to shoulder. Ocean and landmass are no obstruction to us, as we share the same vision for development, prosperity, happiness of the people, and uphold the same belief in justice, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.
China’s commitment to the philosophy of consultation, cooperation for shared benefits is not only manifested in China–Grenada relationship, but also in its staunch support for multilateralism in the international community. When Chinese president Xi Jinping addressed the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda on 25 January this year, his advocacy of “letting the torch of multilateralism light up humanity’s way forward” serves as a steadfast reiteration of China’s all-time principle for its diplomacy. As President Xi says, “The problems facing the world are intricate and complex. The way out of them is through upholding multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind.” To that end, China provides the following propositions for world development:
First, we should adhere to the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom of all mankind, jettison ideological prejudice, make the mechanisms, principles and policies of our cooperation as open and inclusive as possible, and jointly safeguard world peace and stability. The essence of multilateralism is that international affairs are handled by all members of the international community through consultation, and the future of the world is in the hands of all countries. The international rule of law, instead of the rule of the jungle, should be respected and championed. China will unswervingly maintain the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law. Both China and Grenada are faithful practitioners of multilateralism, and the two nations enjoy close coordination in issues regarding climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, public healthcare, etc., in which the ideal of all human beings glitters.
Second, we should close the gap between developed and developing countries while jointly promoting the development and prosperity of all countries. Currently, the North–South gap risks further widening, the issue of development equity is becoming increasingly prominent, and the cause of sustainable development is facing severe challenges. The vast majority of developing countries generally expect to obtain more resources, and demand more representation and voice in global economic governance. The international community should focus on the long-term and implement its commitments to provide necessary support for and safeguard the legitimate development interests of developing countries, so as to realise inclusive development.
China, as a developing nation itself and an outspoken force for the benefit of developing countries, has made enormous efforts in facilitating south-south cooperation, which is showcased by the assistance in infrastructure development, investment and livelihood it has provided for countries in need. In this regard, China is appreciative of Grenada’s endeavour of development and will continue expanding the bilateral practical cooperation as well as promoting common development.
Third, we should join hands to meet global challenges and initiate a better prospect for mankind. The world is undergoing changes unseen in a century and untraditional risks have come to the fore. Therefore, global public health emergency like the Covid-19 pandemic may, despite our good wish, repeat itself — if we detest its degradation into a crisis, then enhancing global health governance is a necessity. In the era of economic globalization, no country can tackle a pandemic by going it alone, and that explains why we are delighted and moved by the deeply-embedded solidarity between China–Grenada at the toughest moment of the pandemic. China will continue to take an active part in international cooperation on the fight against Covid-19, facilitate information sharing, and particularly, scale-up cooperation on the R&D, production and distribution of vaccines and make them international public goods that are truly accessible and affordable to people in all countries. This is China’s responsible pledge to the world as a major country — we hope these efforts will contribute to an early and complete victory over the coronavirus throughout the world.
The year 2021 will be a year of historic importance in China’s national rejuvenation, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China and launch the 14th Five-Year Plan of National Development. Meanwhile, we believe that Grenada will also shed the gloom of the pandemic and jump-start its National Sustainable Development Plan 2020–2035. As longstanding supporters of multilateralism, China and Grenada are both vocal champions of opening up and promoting sustainable development.
During my tenure as Chinese Ambassador to Grenada, I will ardently and arduously collaborate with friends from all walks of life of Grenada, be it government, parliament, parties, civil society, communities or media, to further consolidate consensus and build up synergy for the benefit of our 2 peoples. This blue planet we dwell on is our own and only home, hence a shared future for us all. Regardless of the temporary darkness clouding over, the light of dawn will finally penetrate and permeate. Let us rise to the call of the era, uphold the torch of multilateralism in our hands, and strive for a community of shared future for mankind!