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Remarks by H.E. Huang Qinguo at the Reception Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between The People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
2017/08/16

Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,

The Honourable Kevin Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance,

The Honourable Darren Allen Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening!

Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. On behalf of Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas, I would like to extend my highest respect and sincere gratitude to all the friends who are committed and have made contribution to the China-Bahamas friendship cause over the years.

On 23rd May, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Bahamian Governor-General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas the Honourable Darren Henfield exchanged congratulatory messages respectively. Both side shared a positive assessment of the development of bilateral relations in the past 20 years, and hoped to make joint efforts to further deepen the comprehensive relationship between our countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although China and The Bahamas are separated by vast oceans, our exchanges and friendship are long-lasting and profound. Dated back to 1870, some Chinese moved to Nassau and settled down. On 23rd May 1997, the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas signed a joint communique and established diplomatic relations, which turned a new page in the history of our two countries.

Over the past 20 years, China and The Bahamas have become partners who embrace mutual respect and trust. Both governments and parliaments had frequent high-level exchanges, with mutual political trust deepened. The leaders of our two countries have maintained continuous contacts. High-level visits promoted our mutual understanding and trust, and pointed the direction for development of bilateral relationship. China appreciates The Bahamas' adherence to the One-China policy, which is the basis and prerequisite for the sound relationship between our two countries. China and The Bahamas share same or similar positions on international affairs and maintain good communications and coordination on key regional and international issues.

Over the past 20 years, the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and The Bahamas has been fruitful. The two countries signed a series of agreements in fields of ocean shipping, investment, tax and tourism, which provide legal safeguard for bilateral cooperation. China built the Thomas Robinson National Stadium as aid gratis, which has improved the level of Bahamian sports facilities, and boosted Bahamas' capability to organize international sports events. By using Chinese commercial and governmental concessional loans, mega projects, such as Nassau Airport Expressway, The Pointe and North Abaco Port Project, are constructed in The Bahamas by Chinese Companies. It's worth mentioning that, as the largest resort in The Bahamas and in the Caribbean region, the Baha Mar Resort, a landmark project of China-Bahamas cooperation, has achieved its phased opening on 21st April after experiencing the ups and downs, which will create more than 5000 jobs, bring new vigor and vitality into the Bahamian economy and tourism, and attract more tourists all over the world to The Bahamas.

Over the past 20 years, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have bridged China and The Bahamas. The exchanges and cooperation in fields of education, culture, sports, health and media have been deepened continuously. China has provided full government scholarships for nearly one hundred Bahamian young people and has funded hundreds of Bahamians to attend short-term training and degree programs in China. In the Confucius Institute, which was established jointly by China and the University of The Bahamas, Chinese Language courses had been set up for local students to meet the demands of the Bahamian people who want to learn Chinese and understand China. This is a special contribution to our bilateral cultural exchanges. The Bahamian art groups like Junkanoo troupes performed in China several times and were warmly welcomed by the Chinese people. Chinese acrobats, puppets, and children art troupes also visited The Bahamas. In March 2017, Guang Dong art troupe delivered a magnificent performance in the Convention Center of Baha Mar, to the fondness of the Bahamian audience. Under the Bright Journey Program, the Chinese medical team of ophthalmologists came to The Bahamas twice to carry out free cataract surgeries for Bahamian patients. More than 200 Bahamian people were enabled to see the light again, and these activities were highly praised by the Bahamian government and people.

The past 20 years marks a journey of solid development of China-Bahamas relations, which brings tangible benefits to the two peoples and sets up a model of treating each other as equals and conducting win-win cooperation between developing countries regardless of their size. Looking ahead, we should continue to deepen political mutual trust, advance practical cooperation, promote people to people exchanges and enhance coordination and cooperation in global affairs. We are very confident in elevating our relationship to a new high.

20 years is merely a glimpse of history. The Chinese and Bahamian peoples have made great achievements together. The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas wishes to work together with the Bahamian government and friends from all walks of life and take the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and The Bahamas to deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, enhance friendship between our peoples and elevate bilateral cooperation to a higher level. Let's join hands and work together to create a better tomorrow for our bilateral relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Now, may I propose a toast,

To the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,

To the everlasting friendship between our two peoples,

To the health and happiness of all guests present,

Cheers!

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