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China and Grenada strengthen bilateral ties

Editor: Li Shouen 丨CCTV.com

06-30-2016 15:41 BJT

Exclusive interview with Grenadian Ambassador to China, Dr. Denis G. Antoine  

By Vicki Cann, PhD Candidate at Communication University of China

Grenada’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Dr. Denis G. Antoine, had recently presented his credentials to President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. In an exclusive interview, Amb. Antoine had reaffirmed his commitment to strengthen bilateral ties between China and the Spice Isle of the Caribbean, Grenada. 

“As Ambassador my role is to have the relationship between a big state, such as China, and a small state, such as Grenada, serving as a global model, whenever big states and small states engagement is exemplified.” 

He added, “I want them to say look at the Grenada - China model. In terms of development, it is about empowerment of the State of Grenada, and in the context of prosperity for all, it is about recognition of shared values and respect. Prosperity for all means all countries and all people, not measured by our size as the only marker of how you engage internationally.” 

“It’s been 11 years since the resumption of bilateral relations between our two nations.” Amb. Antoine said, “When Grenada reaffirmed its commitment to a one China policy, we laid the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship for both countries. Grenada remains grateful for the level of cooperation that exists between our two nations.”  

He added, “China and Grenada celebrate growing fruitful relations with the bonds of friendship getting stronger. We have hosted high-level visits from the PRC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce and Export-Import Bank/Import and Export Bank (EXIM). In the true spirit of reciprocity, Grenada has made high-level visits to China in 2015 when Rt. Honorable Keith C. Mitchell Prime Minister met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in China.” 

“As Grenada’s Ambassador for China,” Amb. Antoine said, “ I also wish to express our thanks to Ambassador Ou, China’s envoy to Grenada; for her efforts to assist with the coordination, and for her continual and unselfish service in St. George’s to ensure that Grenada-China relations can remain prosperous.”

He added, “The Visa Free Agreement has been signed, which is regarded as one of the clearest indicators of favorable relations between the two countries, today Grenadians as well as Chinese nationals can travel to each other’s countries visa-free.” 

The agreement stands as a high-point of our 10th Anniversary of diplomatic relations with China,” Amb. Antoine said. “The visa waiver marks a milestone demonstrating that our relations have grown stronger, which draw attention to the fact that we are engaged in more collaboration.”

He added, “There are ongoing talks on improvement of trade in tourism, and other services and products between our countries. Upgrading the country’s main airline hub, the Maurice Bishop International Airport, is among our highest priorities and Grenada looks forward to completing this most important project working with China.”   

“Grenada is a tri-island state (Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique) and we are looking to upgrade the Lauriston Airport on Carriacou in a timely manner, which will benefit our tourism sector. We wish to accommodate Chinese tourists traveling abroad; improving our airports and transportation facilities will be advantageous for the free flow of Grenadian and Chinese products coming to and from both countries,” noted His Excellency.

Accordingly, Grenada is open for business; and for tourists and investors, who would like to make Grenada their new home, Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program offers entrepreneurs with investment opportunities and the possibility to gain citizenship. Once the necessary due diligence has been conducted, an individual of sound character can gain the benefits of becoming a Grenadian. 

Amb. Antoine spoke about the crucial significance of knowledge transfer especially in the fields of energy, finance, tourism, agriculture and infrastructure development. 

“The issue of technology must also come with the transfer of skills, which provides exchanges in the form of experts in technical cooperation programs, aimed at capacity development while both countries are developing,” said Amb. Antoine. 

A number of Grenadian students have received scholarships from the PRC to pursue college degrees at Bachelors, Masters and PhD levels. However for persons who are unable to study in China, Amb. Antoine hopes that Grenadians will receive parallel training in the field during project implementation from skilled Chinese personnel. 

His Excellency also made reference to the benefits of the 2016 China-Latin America and Caribbean Year of Cultural Exchange.

“Our participation in the China-LAC Cultural Festival has raised the opportunity for a wider transfer and cultural share. Many have come to China to study as students and work as diplomats, however the number of Chinese students in our local institutions should be increased and this can also bring about more intercultural awareness and understanding,” said Amb. Antoine. 

Apparently, Grenada has a large foreign diaspora many of whom find their country a delightfully comfortable place to live and work. 

“One of our greatest assets is the friendliness of our people as the ongoing relationship develops between Chinese and Grenadians, I look forward to doing my part to strengthen our bilateral ties with more people-to-people contacts. The bond between Grenada and China will be viewed as a model partnership,” said a confident Amb. Antoine.  

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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