by HE Dr Zhao Yongchen, Chinese Ambassador to Grenada
On 20 January 2005, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Grenada decided to resume diplomatic relations.
Hence, the bilateral relations between the two countries developed in a fast and healthy way, with a lot of economic and technical cooperation achieved, which brought enormous benefit to the two peoples. China-aid National Cricket Stadium and Athletic Stadium made it possible for the Grenadians to fully enjoy sports. The Low-Income Housing Project provided residential places for 1,000 households. The Chinese Navy Ship “Ark Peace” visited Grenada twice, provided free medical treatment to more than 15,000 Grenadians. Nearly 100 Grenadian students completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies in China and are now working hard in all walks of life, making their contributions to social development. Almost 2% of people from Grenada travelled to China on short-term training courses, which strengthened people-to-people friendship and acquired new skills and techniques. The win-win cooperation between China and Grenada has been a champion of relations between big countries and small developing island countries.
The highly evaluated China-Grenada relations does not come easily. I have come to the following experiences:
First, as the “foundation rock”, the principle of mutual respect and non-interference into other’s internal affairs has been well safeguarded. As indicated in the Joint Communique, the Government of the People’s Republic of China supports the noble efforts made by the Government of Grenada for safeguarding national independence and sovereignty and developing its economies. The Government of Grenada recognises the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing China, and Taiwan is an integral part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The past 15 years witnessed the two governments and peoples sticking to such a principle. China has never interfered in Grenada’s internal affairs, nor imposed its own developing model on Grenada.
Second, serving as a “ballast stone”, the economic and technical cooperation between the two countries has been expanded in various fields such as infrastructure, agriculture and climate change. As the “Belt & Road Initiative” reaches to the Caribbean, we have more cooperation to come.
Third, people to people exchanges served as “binders”, brought our two peoples closer through co-operation in fields like culture and education.
Fourth, as a “win-win highlight”, our multilateral cooperation in international arena has been quite remarkable.
Fifth, as a “new field”, such cooperation as anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation has been strong evidence for our continued engagement.
Looking forward to the next 15 years of China-Grenada relations, we shall start a new journey by continuing to take the goal of building a community of shared future for mankind, effectively connect the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the “Grenada 2035 Sustainable Development Strategy”, so as to ensure China-Grenada relationship a stable and far-reaching one. Through the joint efforts and care by the governments, peoples, political parties, and parliaments of our two countries, we are sure to create another glory in the next 15 years.