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Xi urges more vigor for ties with Caribbean nations

Jun,04,2013 Source:CIT

PORT OF SPAIN - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping called here Sunday for more vigor and cooperation to boost ties between China and Caribbean nations.

When meeting with Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana, Xi said Guyana is the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic relations with China, which laid a solid foundation for the bilateral relationship.

China is willing to enhance communication and cooperation between the two countries' governments, parliaments and political parties, and deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishery, Xi said.

He pledged to carry out projects including airport, hydro-power generation plant and e-government in Guyana.

Xi also noted that China and Guyana share extensive common interests in the domains of climate change and the reform of the international system, urging close cooperation in multilateral sphere.

For his part, Ramotar spoke highly of China's development and its important contribution to safeguarding world peace and assisting developing countries.

Guyana looks forward to beefing up communication and cooperation with China so as to raise its level of development, the president said.

When meeting Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Xi said that Antigua and Barbuda is an important partner of China in the Caribbean region, and that China appreciates its support on issues concerning Beijing's core interests.

Xi said China values the cooperation proposals put forward by Antigua and Barbuda related to people's livelihoods and tourism, and is ready to exchange views with the Caribbean nation and learn from each other on environmental protection and ecological conservation.

He said this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Antigua and Barbuda, calling on the two countries to use the occasion to lift their cooperation to a higher level.

Noting Antigua and Barbuda will hold the rotating chair of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, Xi said China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Caribbean country.

Spencer thanked China for its aid to his country and lauded the Asian nation for its efforts to develop relations with Antigua and Barbuda on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

He expressed hope the two countries can strengthen cooperation in economy, trade, culture and multilateral issues, adding that China's development will bring opportunities for his country and the Caribbean region at large.

When meeting with Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, Xi described the country as China's good friend and partner.

He urged the two countries to continue to transfer technologies and share experiences in such areas as agriculture and medical services, cooperate in the fields of economy and technology, explore clean energy, jointly cope with climate change, expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen cooperation in personnel training.

Skerrit, for his part, thanked China for its assistance and expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with China in such fields as transport infrastructure, education and medical services.

Dominica appreciates China's position on climate change and its assistance to small island countries, the prime minister said, expressing hope that Dominica and China could support each other and enhance cooperation.

When meeting with Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Xi said China appreciates Grenada's support on issues concerning Beijing's core interests.

Bilateral relations have developed smoothly over the past eight years, Xi said, adding that the two sides should adopt a future-oriented perspective and continue to work together for a long-term, sound and stable development of bilateral ties.

The two countries, Xi said, should maintain high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and improve cooperation in such sectors as infrastructure, agriculture, human resources, education, culture and tourism.

Noting that bilateral cooperation has born rich fruit, Mitchell said the two countries are facing fine opportunities to further bilateral ties.

He said Grenada hopes to, based on the principle of mutual respect, cement its friendship with China and advance bilateral cooperation.

During a meeting with Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, Xi said the Bahamas, boasting strong tourism, is an important offshore financial center and marine transportation hub in the world.

The country, the Chinese president said, is a key economic and trade partner of China in the Caribbean, and bilateral cooperation enjoys great potential.

China and the Bahamas, Xi suggested, should improve communication, deepen cooperation in trade and tourism, and enhance educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges so as to lift bilateral ties to a new level.

For his part, Christie said intensified cooperation with China is crucial to his country's social and economic development.

Xi also met with Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica.Jamaica is a big power in the Caribbean and one of China's most important cooperation partners in the region, he said.

Xi suggested the two sides improve cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture, telecommunications and mining.

Recalling his visit to Jamaica four years ago, Xi said he was deeply impressed by Jamaican people's passion for the Chinese culture.

The Chinese people are also familiar with Jamaican great athletes, Xi said, adding that the two countries should improve exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, sports and tourism.

Simpson-Miller said Jamaica cherishes its friendship with China and appreciates Beijing's assistance.

Jamaica, she said, is ready to strengthen economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with China, and to conduct communication and mutual learning on sports and environmental protection.

Xi also exchanged views on China-Caribbean ties with the leaders. Noting that the Caribbean region is an important force in the international community, Xi said China-Caribbean cooperation has boosted their development and benefited their peoples.

China is ready to establish and develop comprehensive cooperative partnership with countries in the region, Xi said.

Acknowledging that Xi's visit attests to the importance China has attached to the Caribbean region, the leaders said their countries are willing to join hands with China to advance Caribbean-China ties to a new phase.

Trinidad and Tobago is the first leg of Xi's ongoing Latin American tour, which will also take him to Costa Rica and Mexico.

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