Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, has praised China for providing unparalleled assistance to his country over the past four years.
On Tuesday, government officials and dignitaries gathered at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to commemorate China Day celebrations.
Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda have an excellent relationship with the PRC, which has benefited both countries as they continue collaborating in various areas.
“We have enjoyed a relationship based on complementarity, mutual respect, and cooperation. When you look at the level of cooperation that China has extended to Antigua and Barbuda, I would go as far as to state that it has been unmatched within the last forty years. In the last forty years, China has done more to assist the people of Antigua and Barbuda to build capacity than any other country,” PM Browne declared.
China has been an essential contributor to the development of Antigua and Barbuda in recent years.
They have funded several major projects, such as building a new terminal at VC Bird International Airport, modernizing and expanding the Deep-Water Harbour, and establishing a facility that helped secure the country’s bid for the UWI Five Island Campus.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said Antigua and Barbuda is unwavering in supporting the PRC and the One China policy.
During the event, the Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams, shared a unique perspective.
He was present when former Prime Minister Sir Vere C. Bird made his first official visit to China.
Sir Rodney emphasized that China’s diplomatic relationship with Antigua and Barbuda is based on principles of sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
“As we celebrate this special day, let us reflect on the remarkable journey of friendship and cooperation that we have undertaken with China. Let us also look forward to a future filled with new opportunities for collaboration and growth. Our shared history and shared aspirations bind us together as true friends, and together, we can achieve great things,” he said
During his speech, Foreign Affairs Minister E.P Chet Greene spoke highly of China’s achievements since the establishment of the PRC 74 years ago.
He praised the hard-working and disciplined nature of the Chinese people, who have consistently achieved high economic growth rates of around 10% per year for several decades.
This impressive growth has helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
“Reducing the poverty rate from over 88% in 1981 to less than 1% in recent years is nothing short of extraordinary, highlighting the effectiveness of your country’s political and governance system,” Greene added
Meanwhile Ambassador Zhang emphasized China’s economic and social progress in 74 years, transforming from a impoverished nation to the world’s second-largest economy.
She said China has played a constructive role in international affairs, actively cooperating with Antigua and Barbuda and other countries, adding, that the focus has been on promoting world peace, achieving common prosperity, and advocating for conflict resolution through consultation.
Opposition Leader Jamal Pringle, Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney, General Secretary of the ABWU Senator David Massiah and other officials were present at the celebration.
There were also cultural displays from both Antigua and Barbuda and China.