Twelve years since the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China, the Government of Grenada last Thursday joined the Chinese Embassy and Ambassador to Grenada Dr Zhao Yongchen as his country celebrated another milestone, 68 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
To mark this auspicious occasion a reception was held at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort attended by senior government officials, Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Cecile La Grenada, members of the diplomatic community, members of the Chinese community in Grenada and media officials as the Embassy in Grenada joined others around the world to celebrate this achievement.
Among persons present at that function was acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nickolas Steele who in delivering brief remarks on behalf of the Government and People of Grenada commended the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China for what he called a deserving celebration.
According to the minister, the past 68 years have seen China undergoing major transformation and development allowing its people to now enjoy a status as the second largest economy in the world while still considered a developing country. What this means the minister said is that while enjoying premier status China is still positioned to achieve greater heights.
What is also noteworthy, the minister said is that despite its many success, China still understands the cries of countries like Grenada and other developing nations. China he said has and continues to play a pivotal role in the community of nations, like the United Nations, the G8, the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States, (CELAC) and CARICOM.
Minister Steele said the relationship between Grenada and China since its resumption twelve years ago continues to grow from strength, not only on the basis of cooperation but mutual respect and the understanding that both countries share. There is no doubt Steele noted that the relationship has borne fruits to the benefit of both parties. Grenada he said has benefitted in numerous ways; housing development, the construction of the National Stadium, scholarship programs, agriculture and more recently we stand to benefit from the announcement of a 66 million dollar development project for the Maurice Bishop International Airport.
The minister noted that without a doubt, Grenada reiterates its continued commitment to the one-China policy and trusts that the relationship between the two countries would go from strength to strength.
Chinese Ambassador to Grenada Dr Zhao Yongchen in his address at last Friday’s reception noted that the past 68 years have realized major transformation in all walks of life and the development of the Chinese people. China he said is committed to a peaceful development and open reform policy. The ambassador added that China is ready to work with other countries to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, maintaining world peace and stability.
The ambassador noted that since the resumption of diplomatic relations with Grenada both countries have enjoyed the comprehensive development of bilateral relations and fruitful cooperation in all fields.
He noted the 66-million-dollar concessional loan for the upgrading of the Maurice Bishop International Airport would no doubt improve the infrastructure and attract more tourists to the island. While people to people exchanges continue to highlight the value of that relationship, he noted that the second phase of the low-income housing project will get started later this year bringing just over 600 houses to low-income earners.
He added that 2017 marks a new record in the number of Grenadian benefiting from the Chinese scholarships and training programmes; some 470 Grenadian benefiting from an overall 1499 in the last twelve years.
The ambassador took the opportunity to thank all who have supported China over the years. He noted that that support is highly appreciated. China he said cherishes the support and looks forward to continuing enhancing the friendship and cooperation going forward.