Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) is greeted by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding upon his arrival in Kingston, capital of Jamaica, on Feb. 11, 2009. Jamaica is the second leg of Xi's six-nation tour, which has taken him to Mexico and will take him to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Malta. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived Wednesday evening in Jamaica's capital Kingston, kicking off his official visit to the Caribbean island country.
Xi said in a written speech released at Kingston Airport that despite the great distance between China and Jamaica, friendship between the two peoples has a long history.
Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties in 1972, especially since the forging of the friendly partnership for common development, the two countries have enjoyed steady growth in bilateral ties, increased political mutual trust, conducted fruitful economic cooperation and trade, and worked closely with each other in international affairs, he said.
Xi said the Chinese government regards Jamaica as "China's important cooperation partner in the Caribbean region."
He said his visit is aimed at strengthening friendship, expanding consensus, deepening cooperation and promoting common development.
The Chinese vice president was greeted by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kenneth Baugh and other Jamaican officials at the airport.
During his visit, Xi will meet with Governor-general Kenneth Hall, Prime Minister Golding and parliament leaders of Jamaica.
Jamaica is the second leg of Xi's six-nation trip, which has taken him to Mexico and will take him to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Malta. He will leave for Colombia on Feb. 14.