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Jointly Push Forward a Win-win Cooperation and Build a Community with a Shared Future for China and the Caribbean

The world is undergoing great developments and transformation, during which emerging markets and developing countries are faced with shared opportunities and challenges. Thus, it is increasingly important for us to enhance solidarity and cooperation. China and Caribbean countries belong to the same developing world and share a lot in common. Faced with the crossroads of the world's general trend, China and Caribbean countries need to jointly push forward win-win cooperation and build a community with a shared future.

Despite vast geographic distance between China and Caribbean countries, the cooperation between us goes back to over 200 years ago. As early as 1806, the first group of 339 contract workers from Guangdong Province China, recruited by British East India Company, set for British Trinidad and Tobago on a ship Fortitude and work in local cane fields. Gradually more and more Chinese workers left their homes and work in the Caribbean together with local brothers and sisters. Since then, the Chinese and Caribbean people shared a reservoir of friendly sentiments towards each other. The meeting between President Xi Jinping and leaders of Caribbean states in 2013 endowed the relations between China and Caribbean states with new positioning, promoted the relationship to new high. Now, our two sides enjoy frequent mutual high-level visits and fruitful cooperation, and maintain communication and coordination on major global issues including climate change. The cooperation under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum has also yielded fruitful results. China is willing to join efforts with all Caribbean countries to promote a comprehensive cooperative partnership with Caribbean countries featuring mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefits and common development for continuous progress.

As the largest developing country in the world, China has always been committed to assisting the development of Caribbean countries under the framework of South-South cooperation with strong sense of responsibility. China supports Caribbean countries to improve people's livelihood and strengthen infrastructure construction. We support Caribbean countries to cultivate talents by providing human resources training programs for various occupations and offering Chinese government scholarship programs every year. We send medical expert teams, agricultural expert groups and technical specialist teams to provide guidance in many Caribbean countries. We also stand up for reasonable appeals from small island developing countries on the topics of global economic governance, international financing for development, climate change etc. in the international community.

Recently the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has injected new vitality into China-Caribbean cooperation. In March 2017, the BRI was written into the UN resolution which urged further efforts to implement BRI. The BRI has become a bright future for human development. In the Second Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum in January 2018, China and the Caribbean exchanged in-depth views on developing mutual beneficial cooperation, and many regional countries are willing to actively take part in the BRI. So far, five countries in the region have signed MOU with China under the framework of the BRI, namely Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Suriname. Grenada will be the next one joining the BRI. The BRI brings new opportunities for practical cooperation in various fields.

However, happiness does not fall from the sky, and dreams do not automatically come true. We shall work together to jointly push forward a win-win Cooperation and build a community with a shared future. Grenada is an important cooperation partner and friend of China in the Caribbean. As long as we exert joint efforts, we’ll set a good example and lay a solid foundation for a better tomorrow in China-Caribbean relations.

First, China and Caribbean need to be political partners of mutual respect, sincerity and trust. We should maintain high-level exchanges, enhance mutual trust and jointly safeguard the overall development of China-Caribbean relations. We need to strengthen communication and coordination on issues involving major interests of each other and continuously strengthen the foundation of mutual trust.

Second, China and Caribbean need to be economic partners of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. We are willing to work with Caribbean countries to promote the development of practical cooperation in a comprehensive, in-depth, balanced and sustainable direction. We need to promote mutual export of more high value-added products and expand trade scale and optimize trade structure. We need to broaden the channels of economic and trade cooperation such as encouraging more Chinese to come to Caribbean for tourism and investment.

Third, China and Caribbean need to be good partners in mutual understanding and learning who harmoniously coexist. China and Caribbean should strengthen exchanges at various levels and in different forms between civil society organizations, academic institutions, media and other sectors of society, and constantly enhance mutual understanding. We also need to carry out in-depth exchanges of experience in the areas of poverty alleviation, disaster reduction, public health construction, social security and human resources development and contribute to the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Fourth, China and Caribbean need to be good partners who sail in the same boat and coordinate and cooperate in international affairs. We need to further close communication and cooperation on major international issues, continuously strengthen exchanges of experiences in dealing with global challenges, expand the strategic connotation of China-Caribbean relations, and enhance the influence of China- Caribbean relations.

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