Nation ready to work more closely with Antigua and Barbuda

By Xu Wei (China Daily) 08:27, January 25, 2024

President Xi Jinping meets with Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 24, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping stressed on Wednesday China's readiness to work more closely with Antigua and Barbuda on trade, infrastructure development, climate change, new energy and healthcare within the framework of Belt and Road cooperation.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Gaston Browne of the Caribbean country, Xi called for close exchanges between the two nations on national governance, stronger alignment in development strategies and the further deepening of pragmatic cooperation.

The president noted that the two sides have consistently shown mutual respect and support over the 41 years of diplomatic ties, becoming an exemplary model of equal treatment and win-win cooperation between large and small nations.

China highly appreciates Antigua and Barbuda's firm adherence to the one-China principle, and the nation will extend its continuous support to the island nation in maintaining its national sovereignty and independence, he said.

Xi extended a welcoming message to more young people from Antigua and Barbuda to study in China, as part of broader efforts to step up people-to-people exchanges.

China attaches importance to the concerns and demands of small island developing countries like Antigua and Barbuda in the field of climate change, he said.

According to the World Bank, Antigua and Barbuda, with about 80 percent of its GDP relying on the tourism sector, is exposed economically, environmentally and socially to climate change impacts, including coastal erosion and inundation, increased rainfall intensity causing flooding and a likely increase in tropical storm intensity.

Xi told his guest that China is willing to support the island nation in hosting the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, adding that Beijing will continue to provide assistance within its capabilities for the economic and social development of countries in the region.

Browne told Xi that the aid from and cooperation with China has greatly promoted his country's national development, helping his people shake off poverty.

He expressed his firm belief that Taiwan is, was, and will always be a part of China, saying that his nation will continue to adhere to the one-China principle and steadfastly support China in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Browne is on a weeklong visit to China starting on Sunday, at the invitation of Premier Li Qiang, who rolled out the red carpet for the leader of the Caribbean nation before their official talks on Wednesday.

Browne also inaugurated the island country's embassy in Beijing on Tuesday, a move he said "signals the advancement of the relationship between our two nations".

He also took part in a forum to appeal for more Chinese investment in the island country. "We not only welcome Chinese investors to invest in Antigua and Barbuda, but also welcome Chinese tourists to come to Antigua and Barbuda for a leisurely vacation and enjoy the island lifestyle," he told the event in Beijing.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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