1st January 2023, marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
To mark the occasion, messages of congratulations were dispatched by both St. John’s and Beijing expressing the desire for the continuation of amicable relations between the nations with a view to deepening and strengthening their ties.
“The establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries on January 1, 1983, was intended to mark a new beginning between the most populous state in the world, and the smallest sovereign state in existence then.
“Those relations have matured. Antigua and Barbuda has adhered strongly to a one-China policy. The four administrations have provided political and other support, flowing from Antigua and Barbuda to China in the several international fora where our countries jointly serve,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated in a letter addressed to His Excellency Premier Li Keqiang of the PRC.
PM Browne noted that Antigua and Barbuda has received significant cooperation through grants and soft loans from the People’s Republic of China in those years.
“A friendship bridge which connects the south of Antigua with the northern half during floods and downpours marked the start of our friendship.
“Most recently, a modern airport terminal, a rebuilt and enlarged cargo port, and a planned housing project continue to characterise the relations between our states,” Browne continued.
Foreign Affairs Minister E. P. Chet Greene said the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties provided an opportunity for reflection on the achievements of the past four decades.
“The People’s Republic of China has played a significant role in the promotion of our national development and has been a generous provider of technical support in various fields, which has resulted in quantifiable benefits for the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
“In 2017 when Hurricane Irma ravaged through…Barbuda, the People’s Republic of China offered humanitarian aid to assist the residents in this dire time of need.
“Your steadfast commitment to ensuring the safety of the people of Antigua and Barbuda has and will continue to be highly appreciated,” Greene said.
The 40th anniversary of diplomatic tires will be marked by an official flag-raising ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on a date to be announced.