by Suelin Low Chew Tung
For 4 months, the China International Press Communication Centre (CIPCC) will host over 60 journalists from countries across the Caribbean and Latin America, Asia–Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe to report on China’s socioeconomic development, diplomacy, significant domestic and diplomatic events, science and technology, culture and other fields, meet with governmental departments, enterprises, think tanks and the media, and visit selected provinces.
The ‘Two Sessions’ are the People’s Republic of China’s annual governmental meetings on legislation, constitutional revisions, personnel changes, policies impacting domestic affairs, foreign business and investment, and the budget for the year. The Two Sessions comprise the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). During the NPC, motions are submitted for the people that NPC members represent. The CPPCC is the legislative body, and its members deliberate on administrating state affairs. Back-to-back separate meetings are held simultaneously and begin on Saturday, 4 March.
Grenada will sit in on the National People’s Congress (NPC) Opening Session on Sunday, 5 March and other events during the Two Sessions and report on scheduled activities.
The Caribbean contingent includes representatives from the Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Suriname, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Grenada — countries with which China has signed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation agreements.
In 2005, China and Grenada resumed diplomatic relations, and over the past 18 years, Grenada has benefitted from China’s programmes and people-to-people exchanges. Such benefits include low-income housing projects, rehabilitation of the national stadia, donations of computers, sports, agricultural and medical equipment, work on the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) runway and road, the St Mark’s River Mitigation project, as well as visits by China’s Ark Peace hospital ship, the Confucius Institute at the T A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), and short-term training and scholarships covering various fields.