Joint Press Communiqué of the Seventh Round of Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China
2019/02/21

The Seventh Round of Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China was held in Beijing on 21 February 2019. Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang of the People's Republic of China and Foreign Minister Francine Baron of the Commonwealth of Dominica co-chaired the Consultations.

The Caribbean countries represented at the Consultations were Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, the Republic of Suriname and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

1. The Two Sides reviewed the important progress made in the relations between China and the Caribbean countries since the Sixth Round of Consultations in 2016 and agreed to strengthen their efforts to deepen the comprehensive cooperation and partnership based on mutual respect and benefit and equality, aimed at achieving sustainable development of our respective countries and building a community with a shared future. They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.

2. The Two Sides commended the important role of this consultative mechanism in strengthening the relations between China and the Caribbean countries and agreed to continue to enhance dialogue and consultation. In this regard, the Two Sides agreed to maintain high-level dialogue and exchange of visits at various levels, including among governments, legislatures and local governments, in order to facilitate the sharing of governance experience.

3. The Two Sides acknowledged that promoting the Belt and Road Initiative embodies the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, and can serve the interests of both sides. The Two Sides agreed to pursue collaboration on policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. To this end, both Two Sides agreed to expand and strengthen cooperation including in trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, the blue economy, climate resilience and adaptation, human resource capacity development, and air services among other areas and to jointly implement ongoing and potential projects. China expressed its willingness to sign memorandums of understanding on cooperation and develop cooperation or joint action plans within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative with more Caribbean countries. The Caribbean Side supported the convening of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China in April 2019 and agreed to take an active part in it. The Two Sides emphasized the importance of developing a regional and institutional dimension to China-Caribbean cooperation and agreed to work together to develop and implement China-Caribbean regional projects, programmes and activities fully involving the relevant regional institutions.

4. The Two Sides agreed to deepen exchanges and cooperation on education, sports and culture, continue to support exchange of visits by art troupes, journalists and athletes, encourage communication by aviation and tourism authorities and expand cooperation in tourism and the development of cultural industries. The Two Sides were delighted to see that the first program of the China-Caribbean Press Center of the China International Press Communication Center was successfully held, and agreed to continue to support exchange and cooperation among media institutions and personnel. The Caribbean Side welcomed the establishment of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms by China in the Caribbean. China reaffirmed its commitment to continue providing scholarships and training opportunities to Caribbean countries.

5. The Two Sides welcomed the active participation in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai in November 2018, noting it is an important platform to promote and display products of Caribbean countries and expand Caribbean export to China. The Caribbean Side reaffirmed its interest in participating in future CIIEs in China and the Beijing Horti – Expo in 2019 with the aim of expanding economic and other activities with China. China welcomed the entry of more premium quality products, and services from Caribbean countries into the Chinese market. The Two Sides agreed to work together through the relevant mechanism, including Caribbean Regional institutions, to facilitate the entry of such Caribbean products and services into the Chinese market. The Two Sides proposed to convene the Fourth China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum at an appropriate time.

6. The Two Sides agreed highly commended the convening of the China-Caribbean Conference on Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Cooperation in Grenada in September 2018, recognizing the importance of promoting exchange and cooperation on combating corruption between their judicial and law enforcement institutions. The Two Sides proposed to make concerted efforts to implement the joint statement of the conference, and to convene the Second China-Caribbean Conference on Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Cooperation in China at an appropriate time.

7. The Caribbean Side expressed its appreciation to China for the timely and effective assistance provided to affected Caribbean countries during the severe hurricane disaster in 2017, thereby acknowledging the importance of existing friendly relations. China agreed to provide continued assistance to the Caribbean countries with a view to supporting efforts aimed at strengthening and enhancing their resilience to climate change-induced disasters. The Two Sides agreed that the relevant institutions in China and the Caribbean should be encouraged to cooperate in order to exchange experience and personnel and conduct joint research and activity.

8. The Two Sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in the area of health. The Caribbean Side expressed appreciation to China for the dispatch of medical teams, "Brightness Action" ophthalmologist teams and the "Peace Ark" hospital ship to the Caribbean and the free medical services they provided and expressed an interest in undertaking joint research and receiving specialist training. China expressed its willingness to work with the Caribbean countries in the fight against tropical epidemics.

9. The Caribbean Side reiterated its firm commitment to the one-China policy and support for China's peaceful reunification. The Caribbean Side also welcomed closer ties between China and the respective regional organizations as well as their cooperation priority areas. China reaffirmed, in this regard, its support for the efforts of Caribbean countries towards regional integration and social progress. Both sides reaffirmed their respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

10. The Two Sides agreed to further enhance consular ties and collaboration, provide mutual visa facilitation, expand people-to-people exchange, and protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of each other's enterprises and nationals in accordance with the national legislation of the host countries.

11. The Two Sides highly commended the important role of China – CELAC Forum in boosting the overall cooperation between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries, and agreed to continue to follow up on the consensus and outcomes achieved during the mutual visits of their leaders and the Ministerial Meetings of the China-CELAC Forum. They also agreed to promote further cooperation under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum and to work towards timely tangible outcomes, making use of the package financing arrangements, sub-forums and cultural activities among others. China will continue to accommodate the special needs of the Caribbean countries through appropriate policy measures following the appropriate consultations with member countries.

12. The Two Sides agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation at the United Nations and other international organizations and multilateral institutions, and maintain communication and engagement on global issues such as the UN Security Council reform, implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the unique and particular vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing states and low-lying coastal areas, global health and the fight against corruption. They also agreed to promote the shared interests of both sides and other developing countries, increase the representation and voice of developing countries and jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The Two Sides reaffirmed their support for multilateralism and free trade, improving the World Trade Organization through necessary reform, safeguarding the multilateral trading system and building an open world economy. The Two Sides condemned terrorism in all forms and agreed that the international community should work closely to combat terrorism.

13. The Caribbean Side expressed appreciation to China for the excellent arrangements made for the Consultations and the warm hospitality accorded to the Delegations. They also acknowledged the Value of the progamme of activities that preceded the consultation demonstrating the outstanding progress that China has made since its reform and opening up in 1978.

14. The Two Sides agreed to hold the Eighth Round of Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with China in the Commonwealth of Dominica in 2021.

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