China’s level of assistance to Antigua and Barbuda over the past four years has
been unmatched by any other developing partner during that period.
That is the view of Prime Minister Gaston Browne who was speaking on Tuesday
afternoon at the China Day celebrations, held at the People’s Republic of China’s
Embassy in St. John’s.
“I believe that the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and the PRC has
been an excellent one that has redounded to the benefit of both countries as we
continue to work with the PRC in many areas. In fact, we have enjoyed a
relationship that has been based on complementarity, mutual respect, and
cooperation. When you look at the level of cooperation that China has extended to
Antigua and Barbuda, I would go as far as to state that it has been unmatched
within the last forty years. In the last forty years, China has done more to assist the
people of Antigua and Barbuda to build capacity than any other country,” PM
He identified the projects with which China has assisted Antigua and Barbuda over
the last decades. These include the new VC Bird International Airport terminal
building, the expansion and upgrade of the Deep Water Harbour, and the facility
that the country used to secure its bid for the establishment of the UWI Five Island
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said Antigua and Barbuda is unwavering in its
support for the PRC and the One China policy. He reminded the audience that
Antigua and Barbuda has remained resolute in its support for China and never once
entertained any ideas to act differently. He noted that the presence of Opposition
Leader, Jamale Pringle, former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, and other senior
members of the UPP was a testament that both major political parties supported the
Also speaking at the function was Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams who
has a unique vantage point, as he was present when former Prime Minister, Sir
Vere C. Bird, made his first official visit to China. He said China’s commitment to
the principles of sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, mutual benefit,
and peaceful coexistence has been the cornerstone of the diplomatic journey
“As we celebrate this special day, let us reflect on the remarkable journey of
friendship and cooperation that we have undertaken with China. Let us also look
forward to a future filled with new opportunities for collaboration and growth. Our
shared history and shared aspirations bind us together as true friends, and together,
we can achieve great things,” he remarked.
In his remarks, Foreign Affairs Minister, E.P Chet Greene was highly
complementary of China’s achievements in the 74 years of the founding of the
PRC. “As a Nation of hard-working and disciplined people, China has consistently
achieved high economic growth rates, averaging around 10% per year for several
decades. This growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Having the world’s second-largest economy, China has excelled in manufacturing,
technology, agriculture, and services.
“Reducing the poverty rate from over 88% in 1981 to less than 1% in recent years
is nothing short of extraordinary, highlighting the effectiveness of your country’s
political and governance system,” Greene told Ambassador Zhang Yanling and the
other Chinese officials gathered.
Ambassador Zhang highlighted the great economic and social strives that the PRC
has made in its 74-year history from a poor impoverished nation to now the second
largest economy in the world.
“When pursuing its development, China has taken a constructive part in
international affairs, actively cooperated with Antigua and Barbuda and other
countries, focused on promoting world peace and achieving common prosperity,
and advocated resolving differences through consultation,” she explained.
The event featured cultural displays with performances involving locals, taking
part in dance, singing, and playing musical instruments.