Xi begins Caribbean visit
Updated: 2013-06-02 02:45
By Zhu Zhe in Port of Spain (China Daily)
Leader confident talks will inject new vitality into growth of ties
President Xi Jinping met Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona on Saturday and both agreed to carry bilateral relations further forward.
President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan are greeted by Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona upon their arrival in the Caribbean country at Piarco International Airport on Friday. Rao Aimin / China Daily
The meeting at the national center for the performing arts, which was built with the aid of China, started about 9:15 am local time. Fifteen students from different schools in Trinidad and Tobago were invited to witness part of the meeting to get a better understanding of the friendship between the two peoples.
Xi arrived at Trinidad and Tobago on Friday evening at the beginning off a seven-day visit to Latin America and the Caribbean to give the relations between China and the region a further boost.
This is the first time a Chinese president has visited the Caribbean country since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1974. A number of cooperative documents covering economy, trade and education are expected to be signed.
"To consolidate and advance China-Trinidad and Tobago relations will not only benefit our two peoples, but also contribute to the unity and cooperation between China and countries in the Caribbean region and other developing countries," Xi said in a written statement issued upon his arrival.
"I am confident that with our joint efforts, my visit will achieve full success and inject new and strong vitality into the growth of friendly relations between our two countries," he said.
After the meeting, Xi is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The two leaders will also witness the signing of cooperation deals by representatives of the two countries.
On Friday, the president's flight landed at Piarco International Airport at about 7 pm local time amid light rain. The Chinese leader stepped off the plane with his wife Peng Liyuan, who was dressed in white and light green.
The couple received a warm welcome at the airport from Carmona and his wife, as well as Persad-Bissessar. A 21-gun salute was fired.
Upon arrival, Xi said Trinidad and Tobago has major influence in the Caribbean region, and he is looking forward to having in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest with leaders of the country.
During his stay in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Xi will also meet leaders from eight other Caribbean region countries.
"I look forward to discussing bilateral relations with them and exploring together ways to boost cooperation," he said.
"I believe that with the concerted efforts of all participants, these meetings will be successful and elevate the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Caribbean countries to a new level."
Xinhua contributed to the story.