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Speech at the 2018 China-Grenada Media Symposium By H.E. Dr. Zhao Yongchen, Chinese Ambassador to Grenada

Hon. Sen. Winston Garraway, Minister with Responsibility for Disaster Management & Information,

Distinguished guests,

Media friends,

Ladies and gentleman,

Good Day,

I listened very carefully to your presentation just and I was very delighted to learn that you had a pleasant and fruitful journey to China. I can see, through the video and your experience of sharing, you all acquired comprehensive understanding about media industry in China, had extensive communication with Chinese media professionals, and most importantly, had a deep and profound knowledge about modern China. Thank you for the wonderful videos, remarks and discussions of all media present.

There is a Chinese saying goes, good friends feel close even when they are thousands of miles away. Thanks to efforts by the “Kings and Queens without crowns”-media workers, the peoples of the two countries understand better and better in nowadays.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese Embassy in Grenada has maintained good relations with Grenadian media friends for a long time and we work together to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Friends from the Grenadian media are often invited to visit China via various programs. This year, the China International Press Communication Center-China Caribbean Press Center Program also invited a Grenadian media worker to participate. And every year some media workers have their short term training courses in China and of course you are representatives of them. The annual New Year Party hosted by the Embassy in honor of the Grenadian media has always been a good platform to exchange information, renew friendship and deepen cooperation. I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to friends for what you have done in the years to bridge the Chinese and Grenadian people.

Dear friends, we are pleased to see that in the past year, with the joint efforts of China and Grenada, friendly cooperation between us in various fields has achieved fruitful results. Recently, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China approved Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Grenadian Government and the Chinese Government and Extradition Treaty between China and Grenada, shortly after Grenada parliament passed legislation of them. At present, both countries are doing their internal approval procedures, and the treaties will soon take effect. This fully reflects the political mutual trust between our two governments and will effectively promote judicial cooperation and friendly relations between our two countries.

Economic and trade cooperation has always been the highlight of China-Grenada bilateral cooperation. The upgrading of the Maurice Bishop International Airport is making steady progress, and the second phase of low-income housing project is also being implemented as planned. Just less than two months ago, the two governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. With Grenada officially joining in the family of Belt and Road Initiative, we will carry out closer cooperation under the framework and comprehensively enhance the level of practical cooperation in various fields.

People-to-people exchanges have continued to expand. So far, more than 1500 Grenadians have been awarded scholarships or training program opportunities. Among them, many outstanding young Grenadians received Chinese government scholarships and started their study in China. Just about one month ago, the historic second visit to Grenada by Ark Peace has provided free and first class medical service to more than 7000 people in Grenada. In order to encourage young people of Grenada to study hard, we have set up the “Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship” at TAMCC for two consecutive years.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Recently, some Western politicians and media hyped up the so-called “China’s debt trap”. What does it mean? Generally, it claims that by providing a large amount of loans to some countries, China attempts to gain control over those countries. In this way, China will get political and diplomatic benefits. This is purely not conforming to the truth. In the words of President Trump, it is fake news and full of beans. However, this statement will cause a lot of confusion in the society.

Some developing countries want to develop their national economy and promote social progress, they urgently need funds. Development is their basic rights. They have full rights and good reasons to seek assistance from the international communities. This is justified and is what the governments and people of developing countries need.

Being a developing country, China understands the other developing countries’ demands very well. Being the second largest economy, China is capable and willing to help these countries within its capacity, in order to develop infrastructures and people's livelihood facilities, such as railways, highways, ports, terminals and so on, and it is warmly welcomed by the recipient governments and people.

With regard to foreign aid, China adheres to the principle of equality and mutual benefit. For all the time, the Chinese aid attaches to neither political strings nor exports development models, nor interferes in other countries' internal affairs, nor do uses the loans affect the political affairs of other countries. So far, China has not used debts to squeeze any country, nor has it planned to overturn any of the recipient countries. “Debt Trap”does not exist. It is against Chinese traditional philosophy, it is hurting the feelings of Chinese people.

Recently, the western media are hyping up that the debt crisis in Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Malaysia were made out of Chinese’s loan assistance. It is purely misleading and has been criticized by the leaders of those countries. The interview to the President of Kenya by a CNN correspondent has clearly demonstrate that the devil purpose of western media.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Diplomats and media workers have much in common. We are all close observers and participants in international and Grenada domestic events. We are all pioneers of cutting-edge social trends and have a strong sense of social responsibility.

I have three wishes, today:

First, I hope that you could pay more attention to China’s development and comprehensively and objectively report on China. Just 5 days ago, the first China International Import Expo successfully opened in China, with leaders of 18 countries attending the opening ceremony and 2800 companies from over 130 countries and regions meeting with over 150,000 buyers from China. This is the world’s first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade. It is an important decision made by China to pursue a new round of high-level opening-up, and is China’s major initiative to still widen market access to the rest of the world. It demonstrates China’s consistent position of supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting free trade. It is a concrete action by China to advance an open world economy and support economic globalization.

Second, I hope the Grenadian media can adapt to the new development of China-Grenada relations, pay more attention to the progress our two countries have jointly made to create a good environment for further development of China-Grenada relationship and friendship, and enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two countries and the two peoples. Since we resumed diplomatic relations 13 years ago, China has provided assistance to Grenada in various field including two phases of low-income house project, education, short term training courses, sports, agriculture, health and so on, bringing tangible benefits to our two countries as well as two peoples. As I just mentioned, Grenada has officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative friend circle and we will carry out various cooperation under this initiative in the near future. Grenadian media could be active promoter or even participant during all these cooperations.

Third, I hope Grenadian Media could also introduce more to Chinese people about Grenada. For a long time, it is us who have tried various forms to let Grenadian society know about China. We invited Chinese media to come to Grenada to do documentaries to show this beautiful island to Chinese public. We make the Chinese international channel CCTV-4 and CGTN accessible in Grenada and we invite you, media workers to come to China either via short term courses or special media visits activities. Maybe in the future, Grenadian media could send somebody to work in China or even set up a joint media station with Chinese media to further introduce more to Chinese people about Grenada and of course, to bring more first-hand information to Grenadian society rather than forward articles with prejudice from western media.

Let us work together to create a better world and do our due contributions to create a community with shared future between China and Grenada.


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