by Ambassador Wei Hongtian, Chinese Embassy Grenada
As Grenada will celebrate its golden jubilee on 7 February, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Grenada, I would like to convey my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the government and people of Grenada for their great achievements in socio-economic development over the past 5 decades.
50 years ago, China and the world witnessed the historic moment of independence of Grenada. Since then, Grenada has evolved from a small island country to a famous tourist destination in the Caribbean. This should be attributed to the diligence, strength, and unwavering spirit of the Grenadian people. May the 50th anniversary bring Grenada prosperity and its people happiness. Here, I am delighted to announce to the public that China has decided to donate US$300,000 to the Grenadian Government to facilitate its jubilee celebrations — a present for Grenada’s 50th birthday.
In the meantime, 20 January marks the 19th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Grenada, offering us an even better reason to share the joy and excitement with the Grenadian people.
At this historic moment, it is necessary for us to look back at what we have accomplished during the past 19 years. Since the People’s Republic of China and Grenada resumed diplomatic ties in 2005, our bilateral relationship has been developing steadily over time, with deepening mutual trust, fruitful cooperation, and stronger bonds between our 2 peoples. China highly appreciates the Grenadian government and the 2 major political parties’ long-standing commitment to the One-China Principle, which is the political foundation of our relationship. Under the guidance of this principle, the practical cooperation between China and Grenada has been steadily enhanced in many sectors, such as infrastructure, health, housing, youth, sports, disaster management, education, human resources training, security and law enforcement, with an eye toward achieving common development. China and Grenada also maintain close consultation and coordination on international and regional affairs to safeguard our common interests.
The past year was one that boasted significant new developments in our friendly relations, which were highlighted by Foreign Minister Hon. Joseph Andall’s successful visit to China and meeting with his Chinese counterpart, heralding more progress in the near future. As for practical cooperation, all preparation work for the Technical Cooperation Project of National Cricket Stadium has been concluded, paving the way for the commencement of construction; the Upgrade Project of Maurice Bishop International Airport is heading towards final completion; the 8th Phase of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project has benefitted farmers across the country; China donated 2 batches of disaster-relief cash aid to the Grenada Government, with one allocated to Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Since China adjusted its Covid-19 protocols, people-to-people exchanges between our 2 countries have been significantly enhanced — 6 bilateral and dozens of multilateral short-term training programmes for Grenadian officials and professionals were held by China last year, and many Grenadian friends were invited to pay visits to China — these training and visits covered various areas, including auto mechanism, youth and women development, law enforcement, journalism and so on. The Chinese Embassy in Grenada also funded several small-scale projects at community level, such as refurbishing community centres, building pedestrian bridges, equipping local ICT centres, donating sports gear and electronic devices to schools, providing life necessities to community organisations, etc — these “small yet smart” projects and gestures met the direct needs of local people and were warmly welcomed.
As China and Grenada are about to embark on the next 20 years of friendship, I would like to elaborate on the 3 aspects China will focus on to strengthen our bilateral relations:
First, we are committed to continuing our support to Grenada within our capacity. It is very encouraging to know that the mutual beneficial cooperation between China and Grenada has improved the well-being of our 2 peoples, which is an embodiment of the “people-centred philosophy” that both our governments cherish. Following the visit of the Grenadian Foreign Minister to China, the 2 countries have been exchanging views on cooperation in health, sports, renewable energy, agriculture, youth development and so on — all fall into the strategic priorities of the Grenadian side.
Second, we will continue to enhance the mutual trust with Grenada on multiple levels. The friendship between our 2 countries relies both on inter-governmental engagement and people-to-people exchanges — as this friendship is underpinned by One-China Principle, the sensitivity of the Taiwan question cannot be underestimated, and the rock-solid support from Grenada on the final reunification of China can always be counted on. It is our sincere hope that political leaders from both sides could pay visits to each other and pave the way for future development of our bilateral relationship. Moreover, we are looking forward to welcoming more Grenadians to visit China this year for studying, training, and commercial activities, and Chinese cultural groups are also ready to perform in this culture-rich tri-island nation.
Third, we will continue to jointly safeguard the international fairness and justice with Grenada and other developing countries. As the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century, we need to make the multilateral system more inclusive, democratic and representative, giving emerging markets and developing countries greater voice in international decision-making. Issues which matter to all should be jointly addressed by all, and this is why we call for an orderly and equitable multipolar world and inclusive economic globalisation that deliver benefits for all. We seek to settle differences through dialogue and resolve disputes through cooperation. We firmly oppose hegemony and power politics in all their forms. We advocate solidarity and win-win mentality in handling complex and intertwined security challenges, and build a fair and just security architecture that is shared by all.
I am very excited to witness the historic moment of Grenada’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, being celebrated under the theme “One People, One Journey, One Future”, and I am very honoured to take part in this noble mission to bring our friendship to a new high. Again, please allow me to congratulate the people of Grenada on this golden jubilee, and, hand in hand, let us foster an even closer China-Grenada friendship with our own hands.
Long live the friendship between the People’s Republic of China and Grenada!