Xi's visit to boost China-Caribbean ties

Updated: 2013-05-31 11:04


  Print Mail Large  Medium  Small    

PORT OF SPAIN - Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Trinidad and Tobago Friday for a three-day state visit, the first to the English-speaking Caribbean by a Chinese head of state.

"Xi's visit is of particular historic significance. It shows China is committed to developing relations with Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Caribbean," said Huang Xingyuan, China's ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

During his stay, Xi will meet President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith and House of Representatives Speaker Wade Mark, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi will also hold talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the two leaders will attend a ceremony to mark the construction of a children's hospital funded by China.

The two sides are expected to sign a number of documents on cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and education.

In addition, Xi will hold bilateral meetings with leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Surinam and Jamaica, all of which have diplomatic ties with China.

"The meetings will have a profound impact on China's relationship with the Caribbean countries," Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng has said.

China and Trinidad and Tobago have had diplomatic relations for 39 years. The country is China's major partner of cooperation in the Caribbean.

It is one of the most prosperous nations in the region, thanks largely to petroleum and natural gas production and processing. Trade between the two countries was valued at 627 million U.S. dollars in 2011.

In a statement issued last week, Persad-Bissessar said Trinidad and Tobago had noted the rapid rise of China on the world stage and hoped Xi's visit would foster greater cooperation with China.

Trinidad and Tobago has consistently remained an adherent to the one-China policy since it recognized and supported the restoration of China's legitimate rights in the United Nations during the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1971, she said.

When asked by local media about Xi's upcoming visit, Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran said he expected some very concrete results to develop out of the visit.

He said the visit showed the great importance attached by China to its relations with the region.

According to an annual report on Latin America and the Caribbean published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Caribbean has become one of China's major destinations for overseas investment. China's investment in the region in 2012 mainly focused on infrastructure projects and tourism.

The regional economy started to recover as a whole last year, but inflation, debt and unemployment remained as the major economic challenges faced by many Caribbean countries.

The region needed to further integrate itself into the world economy and it also needed external financial aid to sustain its economic growth, the report said.



President Xi visits Latin America, meets Obama

May 31 to June 6: Xi will pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.

June 7 to 8: Xi will meet US President Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 at the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage, California.


Xi: Man of wisdom

Xi just gives me the feeling that he is going to act with wisdom, intelligence and firmness.

Xi takes tough stance on corruption

Xi Jinping has done a lot to stop corruption in China. Food tampering has been/is terrible now, by Xi Jinping is putting the bad guys in jail.


Obama and Xi start talk with a walk

Obama arrives in Palm Springs for summit with Xi

Obama to meet Xi at Sunnylands Center

Presidents of China, Mexico attend entrepreneur conference

Peng visits children's hospital in Mexico City

Xi's trip new chapter for China-Latin American ties