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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Xu Hong, Chinese Ambassador to Barbados at His Farewell Reception
2013/11/01

Your Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, the Governor-General,

and Lady Belgrave,

Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, the Chief Justice,

Hon. Members of the Cabinet,

Hon. Members of the Parliament,

Permanent Secretaries,

Distinguished Representatives of Diplomatic Corps,

Friends from Media,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

To see so many friends showing up for my farewell reception, especially H.E. Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave and Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, I feel deeply moved. My feeling at the moment is beyond description.

I thank my colleagues for making the short film that you watched just now. All those beautiful scenes and all those memorable moments of the past 19 months are just like yesterday, so close, so vivid. These are worth remembering for my whole life.

19 months pass quickly like a white pony crosses a crevice in the twinkling of an eye, as in the Chinese idiom. To put that time in the history of our bilateral relations, it is even less noticeable. However, just because of these short 19 months, I feel that I am so lucky and at the same time so happy.

I feel lucky, because the first time that I am appointed Ambassador, I was accredited to a dreamlike country called Barbados. No doubt sunshine and beach are enchanting here in Barbados, the warm, hospitable and friendly people are more encouraging.

I feel lucky, more because our two countries have ushered in an unprecedented era of rapid development of bilateral ties in all areas and I am fortunate to be standing on predecessors’ shoulders. 36 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations, no matter how international situation changes and no matter DLP or BLP is in office, our two countries have maintained a relationship of mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual benefit, and our bilateral relations kept developing steadily and smoothly. In achieving that my predecessors made a lot of effort and I would like take this opportunity to pay my tribute to them.

I feel happy, because in the short 19 months, I have the opportunity to witness or experience a great amount of major events and happy events in our bilateral relations. Especially in June this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in Port of Spain and reached a wide range of consensus, pointing out direction for the future development of bilateral relations. The cooperation in the areas of politics, economy and trade, culture, education and military are also fruitful which is very encouraging.

I feel happy, more because I feel at home here in Barbados. If everything looks strange to me the moment I first step into Grantly Adams International Airport, now I am no more strangers: it is not just that the color of my skin became more Caribbean, more importantly, the friendship, the warmth and the resonance of the mind that I feel here already formed part of my life and they are truly unforgettable.

I might still have a few regrets. I thought I would have more time to realize more ideas and plans and to see more success in our cooperation projects. But I am not at all worried. The constant deepening of our bilateral relations is a choice of the peoples and destined by history. It will surely benefit both countries and both peoples. I feel proud to make my modest contribution in that remarkable process. At the same time, I believe my successor will do a better job with your continued support.

One week ago, I published an article as an Ambassador in the People’s Daily, a popular Chinese newspaper. I wrote “vast Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea cannot block the friendship of Chinese and Barbadian people, to the contrary, the geographic distance and cultural difference only add to the attractiveness of our peoples and make us cherish the relationship even more. Hand in hand, with pursuit of the common dream, we can surely create a better future.” That is the wish from the bottom of my heart.

Facing the upcoming departure, my heart is filled with gratitude. I thank H. E. Sir Elliott Belgrave, Governor-General and Lady Belgrave, Hon. Freundel Stuart the Prime Minister, Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, the Chief Justice and Barbadian government, parliament, parties, and government agencies, media, NGOs and friends from all walks of life, for your valuable support and assistance to my work and for your care and consideration for my life. I would also like to thank my team, my colleagues for their hard work. And I would like to particularly thank my wife Mrs. Wei Bo for your support and encouragement. I can’t say that I did an outstanding job, but if I fulfilled my assignment at least, it should all be accredited to your common effort.

There is a Chinese saying “no feast lasts forever”. So though I feel regretful to leave, I have to say goodbye to you and to take up a new assignment. There is another Chinese saying “friends goes together for life”. So wherever I am in the future and whether we can meet again or not, our hearts will always be together. Please take care, my friends!

Lastly, I wish China and Barbados prosperous and our friendship lasting forever!

Thank you!

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