The People’s Republic of China is opening its purpose-built embassy in Antigua and Barbuda today as a symbol of the strong ties that currently exist between both countries.
Senior government officials including Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Foreign Affairs Minister E. P. Chet Greene are slated to address the opening ceremony.
The embassy is located at an area designated as Embassy Row by the government where it hopes to encourage other foreign governments to establish their embassies and consulates.
Prime Minister Browne said the five areas of land upon which the embassy was built was sold to the Chinese at the symbolic rate of EC$1.
The compound will house the embassy’s administrative offices and accommodations for the resident ambassador and other embassy staff.
The PRC’s ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, Her Excellency Zhang Yanling, will also address the ceremony which will feature cultural performances and artists from Antigua and Barbuda and China.
The Antigua and Barbuda government has recognised the PRC as its most important developmental partner based on the magnitude of their support over several decades.
The two countries established diplomatic relations back in 1983.
The government says it remains committed to the “One China’ policy which embraces principles of equality, equal benefit and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The People’s Republic of China has offered concessionary loans to Antigua and Barbuda under which several key infrastructural projects have been completed.
These include the new terminal building at the V. C. Bird International Airport, the redeveloped St. John’s Harbour, the Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre and the Bridge at Big Creek.
In the health sector, the government of China has donated two polyclinics to the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. They are located at Glanvilles and Villa.
In the fight against COVID-19, China also donated US$100,000.00 to the health sector.
The PRC is on the verge of launching a new housing development in the Point. It is expected that after this project is completed, similar projects will be constructed in other communities where there is limited land available for the construction of single-family homes.