Forge ahead in the new era and work together for a better future
2021-09-28 03:26

On 27th September,2021, the POINTEXPRESS carried an article authored by Mr. Wang Erdong, Charge d'Affaires ad interim of Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Antigua and Barbuda, titled"Forge ahead in the new era and work together for a better future", in celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The full text is as follows:




October 1st 2021 marks the 72nd Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

For the past 72 years, China has achieved a miracle in the history of human development. China's economic output has grown from over RMB 60 billion yuan in 1949 to 100 trillion yuan in 2020, making China the world's second largest economy.

Apart from being the world's largest trader in goods and second largest outward investor, China is also becoming the world's largest consumer market. For years, China's annual contribution to global economic growth has been in excess of 30%.

China has built infrastructure of the largest scale and established the most comprehensive industrial system. A space station has been put into operation. Three Chinese astronauts, the first sent to orbit for space station construction, have safely returned home after completing their three-month mission.

China has made headway in advancing major scientific and technological projects, including Mars exploration, and is leading the world in digital and information technology such as 5G.

Having successfully transformed itself from an ancient agricultural country into a modern industrial country, China is now marching with firm steps toward becoming an innovation-driven country.

Chinese people's livelihoods are continuously improving. In 2020, China's gross national income (GNI) per capita exceeded US$10,000. More than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, and 400 million have joined the middle income group. A social security network covering nearly 1.4 billion people is in place. For the first time in its history, spanning thousands of years, China has built a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

China continues to put into practice our belief in the harmony between man and nature. We are actively implementing the Paris Agreement and have pursued  a path of green, low-carbon and circular development.

In 2020, China's carbon intensity dropped by 48.4 percent over the 2005 level. Clean energy makes up 24.3 percent of China's energy consumption. China contributed 25 percent of the increase in global afforestation and 20 percent of the net restored land. Giant pandas, China's national treasure, are no longer classified as "endangered", and their wild population has grown to over 1,800.

In face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China upholds the principle of putting people and life first. The entire nation has rallied together behind one common purpose to fight against the pandemic. China was among the first to contain the virus, to carry out international cooperation against COVID-19, to safely reopen the economy, and to restore economic growth.

We have launched the largest global humanitarian campaign since the founding of New China, in which substantial amounts of anti-pandemic materials have been donated and nearly 1.2 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines have been provided to over 100 countries and international organizations.

China always adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, firmly upholds the international system centered on the United Nations and the international order  underpinned by international law, earnestly practices multilateralism, and promotes peaceful settlement of disputes. We reject the malpractices by certain countries of using their own standards to decide which country is a democracy, forming cliques around the world and engaging in ideological marketing.

This year also marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Over the past 100 years, the CPC has traveled an extraordinary course to become one of the most experienced and capable ruling parties, with the longest consecutive ruling time.

The CPC is the source of national cohesion and mobilization. It is progressive, reflective, reformist, and willing to learn from others with an open mind. It never rests on its laurels or rejects change. Under its leadership, the Chinese people have embarked on a new journey toward the next goal of fully building a modern socialist country by the mid-21st century.

Generation after generation of the Chinese people have made relentless efforts to pursue development, and scored substantial achievements. Nonetheless, we are fully aware that China still faces daunting tasks in its internal reform and development, and the external risks and challenges are severe.

We firmly believe that, in a globalized world, the destinies of all countries are closely linked. As China further develops itself, it shall naturally take on more international responsibilities, make greater contributions to the common wellbeing of the people of all countries, and work with other countries to build a community with  a shared future for mankind.

During the past six months since taking office, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, I have tried to connect with friends from various sectors in Antigua and Barbuda. At every opportunity and on every occasion, I have been greeted with profound expressions of appreciation for the bilateral relations between our two countries, as well as high expectations for the future development of those ties.

The geographical distance has not prevented China and Antigua and Barbuda from being each other's close friends and reliable partners. "Good friends feel close even when they are thousands of miles apart"; this old Chinese saying best captures the relationship between our two countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations on January 1st 1983, bilateral cooperation between China and Antigua and Barbuda has become increasingly close and mature. On the multilateral arena, our two countries are also close partners standing for our common interests. Our leaders have maintained regular exchanges and established good working relations.

Antigua and Barbuda pursues an independent foreign policy and is currently exploring a development path that suits its own characteristics. When getting along with such a sincere friend like Antigua and Barbuda, China values good faith, appreciates friendship and advocates for moral justice. 

Facing the sudden onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Antigua and Barbuda have been standing in solidarity and supporting each other. China has actively assisted Antigua and Barbuda in the fight against the pandemic, including by donating several batches of anti-pandemic supplies and 20,000 doses of SinoPharm vaccines. For China, one way to gain is by giving, by extending a hand of help and showing a gesture of goodwill.

Due to the external environment, Antigua and Barbuda has suffered from economic downturn and financial shocks in recent years. Against this backdrop, China will continue to provide assistance to Antigua and Barbuda and enhance bilateral economic and technical cooperation.

In particular, every effort will be made to advance projects that involve construction of infrastructure and people's livelihood, thereby helping to boost the economy of Antigua and Barbuda and create a better life for its people. We are pleased to see that the renovation and extension project of St. John's Port is progressing steadily and expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

Phase I of the China-Aid Agro-Tech Project has yielded fruitful results and the planning of Phase II is being stepped up. The two sides are also actively exploring the possibility of cooperation in blue economy and other areas.

In addition, cultural and people-to-people exchanges continues to make progress. Established at the end of 2019, the Confucius Institute of Antigua and Barbuda (CIAB) has been committed to teaching Chinese language and promoting Chinese culture. CIAB is now an important platform for Antiguan and Barbudan friends to learn about China and study Chinese language.

The 1st Chinese Proficiency Competition for Secondary School Students in Antigua and Barbuda took place last July and proved to be a big success. Also, nine students from Antigua and Barbuda have been awarded Chinese Government Scholarships and will study in well-known universities in China.

As President XI Jinping stressed in a video speech delivered to the 6th CELAC Summit on 18 September 2021, the China-LAC relations have entered a new era featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness, and tangible benefits for the people. China stands ready to work with LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) countries to get through difficult times, foster new opportunities, and jointly build a shared future.

The difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are temporary and the cooperation between our two countries is long-term and real. It is fair to say that China represents opportunity and the future, as it is redoubling its efforts to foster a new development paradigm and continuously deepen reform and opening-up.

"Each Endeavoring, All Achieving," is the national motto of Antigua and Barbuda. It is my firm belief that with the joint efforts of the two governments and peoples, the bilateral cooperation between China and Antigua and Barbuda will yield even more tangible results, and we will together create a brighter future.

Chinese Embassy, McKinnons Way, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
P.O.BOX 1446, St. John’s, Antigua, W.I.