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Remarks by H.E. Ms. Wang Ke, Chinese Ambassador to Barbados at her Welcome Reception

Your Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, the Governor-General,

Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, the Chief Justice,

Hon. Members of the Parliament, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries,

Distinguished Representatives of Diplomatic Corps,

Friends from Media,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening! On behalf of the Chinese mission, I would like to extend my sincere welcome to all of the guests here tonight. I am honoured by your presence this evening and by your many kind words of welcome as I begin my tenure in Barbados.

It has been two months since my arrival in this beautiful island. Over the past 60 days, I have the privilege of meeting Your Excellency, the Governor General, Right Honorable Prime Minister, Your Honorable Chief Justice and many ministers. I have also had exchanges on a wide range of topics with many Barbadian friends from all walks of life in a cordial and friendly manner. I strongly feel the eagerness of Barbadian people for the closer engagement between our two countries, and begin to know your gracious people and experience your wonderful country. I want to thank the Government and many friends of Barbados as well as colleagues in my mission who have given me so much assistance to help me not only settle down but also feel confidence to fulfill my duty.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 37 years ago, China and Barbados maintained close political relations with frequent high-level visits and people to people exchanges. The bilateral economic and trade relations developed rapidly, cooperation in many other areas have been fruitful and coordination in international affairs significantly strengthened. China has provided Barbados with assistance within its capacity and Barbados rendered strong support to China in many areas. The two countries have long been invaluable friends.

In June last year, during his visit to Trinidad and Tobago, President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China met with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Both leaders agreed to further deepen mutual trust and create new bright spot in practical cooperation which is of critical importance to the cooperation in the areas of trade, renewable energy, agriculture, tourism, culture and education etc. From then on, China and Barbados have been working closely to implement the follow-up actions in the spirit of win-win cooperation, the progress is smooth, some of the projects are about to break ground in the near future. Just today, a delegation of 20 representatives from Barbadian public and private sectors left for China, participating in the first seminar organized specially for Barbados by the Chinese Government to facilitate commercial and economic relations between our two countries. I want to emphasize the Chinese Government will continue rendering its support and assistance to Barbados, and encouraging Chinese people to visit and invest in Barbados, so as to contribute to this country and its people in their nation building endeavor.

I would also like to share with you that many Barbadians whom I met, whether they are political leaders, entrepreneurs or ordinary people, they are all eager to bring our two peoples closer. I also learned that there are more and more Barbadian people who are interested in learning Chinese language and culture. I believe diplomacy is all about relationships between peoples, about building on trust and confidence, about listening and working together effectively. For these reasons, I am vigorously promoting cultural and educational exchanges with the aim to enhance mutual understanding between our two peoples. As you know, Chinese language classes are taught in UWI Cave Hill Campus, and a learning and experiencing center of Chinese language and culture namely Confucius Institute is expected to be set up this year on the same campus. There will be an increase of Chinese Government scholarship to Barbadian students starting from this year. In Cultural field, a Barbadian performance group is planning to visit China, attending Meet in Beijing Art Festival this May, it will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Bajan culture to the Chinese audience. I am also very glad to announce Nanjing National Orchestra of China will perform on the evening of March 18 at Sea Rock Dome of Barbados Beach Club, I am sure you will have a wonderful time to enjoy beautiful Chinese folk music.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Chinese Ambassador to Barbados, I am truly honored for the trust and confidence of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people placing in me, and I am committed to living up to this trust by representing my country with passion, dedication and creativity. I look forward to working with the government, the civil society organization, the private sector, the media and the people throughout this country to forge a close and mutually beneficial partnership between our two countries and two peoples.

Thank you all!

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