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Interview: Xi's visit to Trinidad and Tobago marks peak in bilateral ties: FM


14:41, May 31, 2013

PORT OF SPAIN, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping will mark a peak in the 39 years of diplomatic relations between Trinidad and Tobago and China, Winston Dookeran, foreign minister of the Caribbean country said Thursday.

Xi will visit Trinidad and Tobago between May 31 and June 2, the first visit by a Chinese president to the country.

Trinidad and Tobago and China have enjoyed a strong bilateral relationship characterized by extensive trade, economic and technical cooperation, and healthy diplomatic ties, Dookeran said in a written interview with Xinhua.

Despite their huge differences in geographic, demographic and economic sizes, Trinidad and Tobago and China have always engaged each other as equals, he said.

The government of Trinidad and Tobago recognizes the momentous achievements China has made as a fellow developing country, specifically the major role it now plays in international trade, Dookeran noted.

With regard to China's engagement with the international community, Trinidad and Tobago, as a small island developing state, is acutely aware of the important role played by China and other members of the emerging economies of BRICS in advancing South-South Cooperation, he said.

"Within the Latin American and Caribbean region, China is highly regarded as a valuable partner of the developing world," he said.

During his stay in Trinidad and Tobago, Xi will meet with President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith and Speaker of House of Representatives Wade Mark.

He will also hold talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, with the pair due to attend a groundbreaking ceremony of a children's hospital funded by China.

The two sides will sign a number of cooperation documents covering economy and trade as well as education, according to China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng.

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