Join Hands for a Brighter Future

On 28 September 2020, H.E. Sun Ang, Chinese Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda published an article on joining hands for a brighter future on the Observer newspaper. As follows:


October 1, 2020 marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The Honorable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, has written a congratulatory letter, addressed to His Excellency Mr LI Keqiang, premier of China, conveying best wishes on behalf of the government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda to the government and the people of China, commending bilateral technical and other cooperation for the past years and reaffirming the commitment of the government of Antigua and Barbuda in maintaining chords of friendship between our two countries. The Honorable E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda also congratulated H.E.Mr WANG Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China on this occasion.

Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have made world-renowned development achievements through hard work. China has also contributed to the world peace and development by practicing the concepts of peaceful coexistence with other countries aimed at achieving mutual benefit and win-win results.

-- China is committed to advancing self-development. China keeps to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and takes pride and has full confidence in its own development path. China's economy remains steady and has become the second largest economy in the world. China has met the basic needs of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. By the end of this year, China will have lifted all rural population living under the current poverty line out of poverty and completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects with improved livelihoods. China has been advancing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at home in all respects, in line with its new philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development.

-- China is committed to peaceful development. By codifying its commitment to peaceful development into China's Constitution, China is committed to developing friendship and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China resolutely safeguards the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and defends the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law. China respects the development models chosen by the people of all the countries, has no interest in ideological confrontation or exporting our system, and will not engage in any invasion, territorial expansion, or seek any sphere of influence. At the same time, China will firmly defend its sovereignty and dignity, uphold its legitimate rights and interests, and safeguard international fairness and justice.

-- China is active in building a community of shared future for mankind. China puts its own development in the global context, therefore is committed to building a network of global partnership, pursuing shared benefits through consultation and cooperation, and promoting mutual benefit and common development with our partners. China proactively advances Belt and Road cooperation, making it the world's largest platform for international cooperation. China champions multilateralism and supports the cause of the UN. It is now the second largest contributor to UN's regular budget and peacekeeping assessment. As a member to nearly all universal inter-governmental organizations and a signatory to over 500 international conventions, China has faithfully fulfilled its international obligations and provided public goods to international community.

The year of 2020 presents itself as a big challenge to the whole world and China itself. The COVID-19 outbreak has dragged the whole human race into a fierce war with a highly infectious disease on a global scale. In face of the sudden outbreak of the pandemic, under the leadership of the CPC, Chinese government and people swiftly launched a war against the virus. China took the most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures for prevention and control of the virus, carried out a life rescue mission on an unprecedented scale by mobilizing nationwide efforts, and eventually emerged as one of the first countries in the world to stem the domestic outbreak. Starting from there, China took a coordinated approach in promoting endeavors on both epidemic control and economic development, promptly restored the order of local production and livelihoods of people, and achieved remarkable results. In the second quarter of this year, China's economy grew by 3.2%, making it the first country in the world to resume growth in the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund predicts that China will become one of the few countries whose economy will maintain positive growth in 2020; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also predicts that China's economy will grow by 1.8% in 2020, making China the only country in the G20 that will achieve positive growth.

China is also making every effort to carry out international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. We promoted the vision of building a global community of health for mankind, and joined hands with all countries to cope with the challenges brought by the pandemic. As the first country to alert the world about the virus and to grapple with a serious outbreak early on, China served as a crucial line of defense for the world, accumulated important experience for this global fight, and boosted  global confidence in ultimate victory. Despite that the domestic epidemic control remained a formidable task, China has been doing its best to provide assistance to the international community and share control and clinical experiences with the world. China has provided 283 batches of anti-epidemic medical assistance to 150 countries and four international organizations, and sent medical supplies to more than 200 countries and regions. China has announced that the Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. Next, China will take the good opportunity given by its effective COVID-19 response and head start in business reopening, to promote an open world economy at a higher level, and foster a new development paradigm with the domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. Such efforts will contribute to global economic recovery and bring new development opportunities to the rest of the world.

This year marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Antigua and Barbuda. The past 37 years have witnessed deepened political friendship and practical cooperation between the two countries with closer ties of the two peoples. Both sides regard each other as a sincere partner and support each other on issues of mutual concern with even closer communication and coordination.

Such friendship between the two countries was once again demonstrated in this fight against the virus. The two countries have joined hands to weather this trying time. When China faced severe challenges posed by the virus, the Governor-General and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the government and its people, sent letters to Chinese President Xi Jinping, voicing support to the Chinese people, for which China would like to express sincere gratitude. China has closely followed the epidemic situation in Antigua and Barbuda and has been providing support to the best of its ability. China has held two high-level special meetings to discuss cooperation in this fight with Latin American and Caribbean countries. We have shared anti-epidemic experience with the twin islands by providing documents and conducting virtual meetings on epidemic prevention and control, and have donated batches of medical supplies including 12 ventilators, a large number of N95 face masks, protective equipment, testing kits, medical goggles and temperature guns.

At the same time, China is pleased to see that despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in the economic, trade and cultural fields is still advancing steadily. The reconstruction and expansion of St. John's Deepwater Port is proceeding in an orderly manner. The Affordable Housing project is in the process of being approved. The construction of two new clinics or community centers has been completed, which will effectively improve the local health care service and enrich the cultural life of the local people. Technical cooperation in agriculture has borne fruits, highlighted by a watermelon demonstration event for a variety of watermelons cultivated by Chinese experts. Ministers of agriculture and foreign affairs of Antigua and Barbuda attended the event, tasted the watermelons on site and gave applauds. Under the maintenance of Chinese technicians, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium will continue to host large-scale events in good condition after the pandemic. This year, the Chinese government again provided 15 students from Antigua and Barbuda with scholarships for study in China, in hope of helping the younger generation of this country to embrace the world and pursue their dreams. The Confucius Institute established at the end of last year also played a positive role in strengthening the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

As the pandemic is still raging on, China is willing to continue cooperation with Antigua and Barbuda in this fight against COVID-19, continuously to do all we could to provide assistance, and make a joint effort in supporting the WHO to play its due role in the global fight against the pandemic, and opposing to the politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19. Guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China will work with the twin islands to tap the potential of cooperation in infrastructure, shipping, finance, education and other fields based on the development needs of the two countries, promote Belt and Road cooperation, aiming at a closer bilateral economic and trade relations and strengthened people-to-people exchanges.

Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "China will always work as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order". The world may be changed because of the pandemic. Yet, peace and development are still the order of the day; cooperation and mutual benefits will remain the irreversible trend. So let's join hands to achieve common development, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and work towards to a brighter future where there is an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

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