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H.E. Ambassador Wang Ke's Remarks at the Farewell Reception

(September 4th, 2017, Hilton Barbados Resort,)

The Hon. Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice,

The Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,

The Hon. Ministers of Cabinet,

Hon. Members of Parliament,

Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps and Consular Corps,

Friends from Medias,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening! I am very much delighted that you could attend my farewell reception.

I have been working as the Chinese Ambassador in Barbados for over three years and eight months. It now comes to the end of my tenure of office and I have to say goodbye to all my friends in Barbados.

Time passed quickly, on the eve of my departure, all sorts of feelings well up in my heart.

In December 2013, I set foot on Barbados as the 13th Chinese Ambassador. More than three years since then, I have been able to understand this beautiful island, witness the remarkable achievements that Barbados has made since its independence, get acquainted with very warm and nice Barbadian people and experience the unique Caribbean culture. I am indulged and enchanted by the blue sea, beautiful beaches, golden sunshine, aromatic rum, delicious food as well as a number of breath-taking views along the coasts of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Staying here for more than 1300 days caused me to fall in love with this paradise island and its people that will be the most unforgettable memories for the rest of my life.

As Chinese Ambassador in Barbados, nothing makes me feel more proud than the strides and breakthroughs that have been scored in the friendly relations between China and Barbados during these years.

China and Barbados maintained frequent bilateral contacts and all-level exchanges and kept effective communication and coordination on global and regional issues of our mutual concern. The two countries signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters, the Treaty of Extradition and the Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of all kinds of passports.

Bilateral trade of our two countries increased for five consecutive years which made China the 4th largest trade partner of Barbados. Financed by China EXIM Bank, the Rehabilitation of Sam Lord’s Castle Resort commenced. Assisted by the Chinese grant, Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium after having been extensively renovated was handed over to the Government of Barbados. China donated computers and other teaching materials to Barbadian primary and secondary schools. Doctors and nurses from the Chinese Medical Team provided service including traditional Chinese Medicine at QEH. Also, China will fund the exploration of implementing the projects of Barbados Hope Agriculture Training Institute and U.W.I. Cave Hill Food Security and Entrepreneurship Centre.

This year, China offered another 10 Government Scholarships to Barbadian students to study at Chinese universities. The Confucius Institute and U.W.I.-China Institute of Information Technology were established at UWI Cave Hill Campus, and the very first HSK, Chinese proficiency test center for Eastern Caribbean countries, was set up as well at the Campus. China and Barbados enjoyed frequent exchange of performing groups, the Fish and Dragon Festival celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year were held for three consecutive years at Church Village Green. It is without doubt that educational and cultural exchanges have become the bridge linking our two peoples and deepening the understanding between our two peoples.

In May, the Chinese Embassy joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados and successfully held a series of events celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Barbados. It demonstrated the close friendship that our two countries enjoyed, and became a milestone as well as a new start of China and Barbados’ relationship. I am very much gratified with the flourishing development of this relationship and proud that I rendered my own contribution by having fulfilled the mission for my country.

Looking ahead, I have every confidence inthe prospects of China-Barbados relationship. I sincerely hope that under the joint effort of China and Barbados, our cooperation on trade, infrastructure, health, education, culture and other fields can be further strengthened. I hope that the Sam Lord’s Castle Resort could be timely rehabilitated and open for business, an increasing number of Chinese tourists will take advantage of the visa waiver exemption travelling Barbados and more and more Barbadian young people could speak fluent Chinese and engage in promoting exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. Based on the spirits of sincerity, mutual respect and a win-win result, the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Barbados will surely have a brighter future.

During my tenure of office, I forged friendship with many Barbadian friends and colleagues from the diplomatic and consular corps, received tremendous support from the Barbados’ government, institutions and my fellow countrymen in Barbados. At this particular time, let me express my most sincere gratitude to you all. Here I want to specially say thanks to all my colleagues at the Chinese Embassy, without your company, hard work and firm support, I would have never achieved accomplishments in my work.

Three years and eight months have allowed me to forge close ties with Barbados and it is very hard to say goodbye. As a piece of Chinese ancient poetry says “a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near”, I will bring your friendships with me to start my new journey. And no matter wherever I go, I will pay close attention to the development of Barbados and the China-Barbados relations, I will also try my best to make contributions to the further enhancement of the bilateral relations between our two countries.

Finally, I wish

Prosperity for Barbados and its people well-being,

China and Barbados enjoy everlasting friendship,

and all of you good health, happy family and a fruitful future!

Thank you!

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