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H.E. Ambassador Wang Ke's Remarks at the Gala Performance in Celebrating the 66th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

His Excellency Sir Elliott Fitzroy Belgrave, Governor General,

Hon. Richard Sealy, Acting Prime Minister,

Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice,

Hon. Ministers,

Representatives from Diplomatic Corps,

Mr. Wu Xing, Vice Secretary-General of Anhui Provincial Government of China and the Head of the Anhui Cultural Exchange Delegation,

Members of the Anhui Cultural Exchange Delegation,

All my Chinese Compatriots in Barbados,

Friends from Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,

Good evening. Welcome to the gala performance in celebration of the 66th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. We are here at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium constructed utilizing China-Aid, which gives today’s event more commemorative significance.

In the 66 years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially in the past 37 years after the reform and opening up of China, Chinese people unswervingly followed the socialist road with Chinese characteristics, forging ahead courageously to realize the Chinese Dream. Now China is the second largest economy in the world with the largest trade volume and foreign exchange reserves, and the third largest overseas investment. The living standard of the Chinese people improved rapidly from poverty to overall well-off.

At the moment, global economic recovery is still weak and Chinese economy is also facing downward pressure. Many friends are concerned about the Chinese economic situation and its direction. I want to use three key words to answer those questions.

The first is New-Normal. Chinese economy is going through a transition from over-reliance on investment to a greater balance between consumption and investment. This is going to be a challenging process, in which ups and downs in growth are hardly avoidable. But the fundamentals underpinning a stable Chinese economy have not changed and it is moving in a positive direction.

The second is confidence. The 7% growth China achieved in the first half of the year is in fact among the highest of the world's major economies. China is capable of maintaining a medium-high rate of growth and moving toward a medium-high level of development. The confidence comes from the huge potential, shock-resistance and the resilience of the Chinese economy. China is currently going through the process of deepening a new type of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agriculture modernization, all of which imply a strong domestic demand; China has a labor force of 900 million and over 7 million people graduate from college every year, with more and more of them joining the ranks of entrepreneurship and innovation, constituting an important force for growth; China’s economic structure is fast improving and the rapid expansion of the service sector, domestic consumption, high-tech industry, green economy etc will be the new point for economic growth.

The third is benefiting the world. In the first half of this year, China contributed about 30% to global growth and China's outward investment has maintained rapid growth. Last year alone, Chinese tourists made over 100 million trips overseas. In the first six months of this year, the number rose by another 10%. China is committed to a win-win strategy of opening up. The fact that Chinese economy keeps medium-high growth rate will continue to provide the world, including countries in Latin America and the Caribbean more market opportunity, growth opportunity, investment opportunity and cooperation opportunity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 38 years ago, China and Barbados have maintained close political relations with frequent high-level visit, rapidly developing economic and trade relations as well as fruitful cooperation in many other areas. In June 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Caribbean and met with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. The two leaders reached the consensus that our two countries would further deepen political trust, enhance people to people exchange and create new bright spots in practical cooperation. We are delighted to see that, with efforts from both sides, the bilateral cooperation between China and Barbados is thriving with highlights one after another:

China and Barbados are in active negotiation in utilizing preferential loans from the Chinese financial institutions to support the construction of Barbados tourism infrastructures. Among the projects, the cooperation on Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel is expected to make breakthrough in the near future.

Chinese government will use the grant fund to carry out a major renovation of this Gymnasium. The project will start next year. After its completion, it will provide a higher quality service for the national sports, culture and community activities in Barbados.

Last week, Chinese Government transferred the donation of 1000 energy efficient air conditioners and 25,000 LED lights to the Barbadian Government. China is also going to outfit this Gymnasium with photovoltaic system. I hope these measures will assist the Barbadian Government in working towards its goal of energy efficiency and greener, sustainable development.

In 2014 and 2015, there are close to 70 persons from Barbados taking part in various seminars and training programs in China in the areas of economic and trade, agriculture, climate change and defence, etc. This October, the Chinese side will organize a seminar in China’s Hai’nan Island tailored specifically for officials and professionals from Barbados tourism sector. Additionally, in the last two years, Chinese government has provided 19 government scholarships for the Barbadian students to study in Chinese universities.

After the setting up of Chinese language class in the University of West Indies Cave Hill Campus, the first Confucius Institute in the Campus is set up in the first half of this year, providing a new platform for the Barbadian friends to learn Chinese and experience Chinese culture.

At the beginning of this year, the first “Fish and Dragon Festival - Celebrating Chinese New Year” has achieved huge success. The Chinese Embassy will join Barbadian and other partners of this Festival to hold this event in the Chinese New Year next year. We welcome you all to join us in the celebration.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I assumed the office as Chinese Ambassador to Barbados in December 2013. In more than a year’s time, I have promoted and witnessed, together with my Barbadian friends, the new development and achievement in China Barbados friendly cooperation, about which I feel very inspired. I am sincerely grateful for the passion, support and efforts from the Barbadian Government and friends from all walks of life. I have every reason to believe that, with our joint efforts, the exchange and cooperation between our two countries will keep deepening, bilateral relations will rise to a new level and the friendship between our two peoples will be closer than ever.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my special appreciation to the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Anhui Cultural Exchange Delegation. As part of Chinese Ministry of Culture’s “China Contemporanea” Chinese culture exhibition program, Anhui Cultural Exchange Delegation traveled from afar. They not only will present us an art performance with strong Chinese ethnic and regional characteristics, but also bring to the people of Barbados the warm greetings and sound wishes from the Chinese people. I also want to thank the Ministry of Culture of Barbados, National Cultural Foundation and the managing board of this Gymnasium for their full support to this gala performance.

Finally, I wish tonight’s performance a complete success and everybody enjoys the fascinating show of acrobatics, singing and dancing by the Chinese artists!

Thank you!

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