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Chinese vice president winds up official visit to Jamaica
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10:25, February 15, 2009

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping left Montego Bay Saturday afternoon for Colombia, winding up his official visit to Jamaica.

Earlier in the day, Xi broke ground for the Montego Bay Convention Centre, a cooperation project by China and Jamaica, and hailed the reciprocal cooperation between the two countries.

At the ceremony, Xi described the amity between China and Jamaica with a Chinese saying which says bosom friends stay close at heart though thousands of miles apart.

The China-Jamaica friendly partnership for common development, established in 2005, has led the bilateral cooperation into a new stage as mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples were deepened and cooperation in various fields achieved remarkable progress, Xi said.

The vice president said China highly values the friendly and cooperative relations with the Caribbean region, and is determined to build an all-around cooperative partnership for equality, mutual benefit and common development with Latin American-Caribbean countries.

Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L, front) shakes hands with a worker during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Montego Bay Convention Center, which is contracted to be built by China, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Feb. 14, 2009

With a project budget of about 52 million U.S. dollars, the convention center, once completed, will provide approximately 20,000 square meters of rooms for meetings, exhibitions and other events.

Xi said the convention center will become not only a new sight in the coastal tourism city, but also a milestone in the China-Jamaica mutually beneficial cooperation.

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, Montego Bay Mayor Charles Sinclair were also present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Jamaica was the second stop of Xi's six-nation tour, which also includes the trips to Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Malta.

In Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, Xi held talks with Jamaican Governor-General Kenneth Hall, Senate President Oswald Harding, Delroy Chuck, president of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Golding and Portia Simpson-Miller, president of Jamaica's People's National Party.


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