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Celebrating the China-Jamaica connection

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

09-08-2017 18:06 BJT

Vicki Cann, PhD Candidate at Communication University of China

This past August marked the beginning of a month-long celebration of deepening ties between China and Jamaica. Festivities were planned to commemorate Jamaica's Emancipation and Independence holidays. The Jamaican Embassy in Beijing partnered with private individuals and organizations.

The festivities were kicked off by a seminar, "China in the Caribbean and the Caribbean in China," which was organized by Dr. Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Several officials attended including Dr. Dong Jingsheng, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Dr. Guo Jie, both from Peking University; Dr. Evelyn Hu-de Hart, Brown University; Dr. Cecilia Green, Syracuse University and Dr. Faith Smith Brandeis University, were among those who presented their research on the histories of Chinese Immigration to Latin America and the Caribbean.

His Excellency, Antonia Hugh, Jamaican Ambassador to the P.R.C.  (4th right) shares lens time with Professor Deborah Thomas  (3rd left) film producer Jeanette Kong (2nd right) and other distinguished guests during the 55th Anniversary celebration of Jamaica

His Excellency, Antonia Hugh, Jamaican Ambassador to the P.R.C. (4th right) shares lens time with Professor Deborah Thomas (3rd left) film producer Jeanette Kong (2nd right) and other distinguished guests during the 55th Anniversary celebration of Jamaica's Independence.

In his welcome address His Excellency Antonia Hugh, Jamaica's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China thanked Professor Thomas and her colleagues for their dedication to research and document burgeoning relations between China and the Caribbean.

"Today's diplomacy is no longer centered on state-to-state relationships but relies on contributions of private entities … Everyone here in this room … as we all come together to produce a striking and vivid mosaic highlighting the past while redefining the future of  the China-Caribbean relationship," remarked His Excellency.

A few days after the seminar, Ambassador Hugh, hosted a reception commemorating the 55th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence, held at the Beijing Marriot Hotel Northeast. Guests were treated to Jamaican delights including the country's national dish—ackee and salted fish, as well as a taste of the island's world renowned Appleton Rum.

 Several of the Caribbean Ambassadors based in Beijing were all in attendance for Jamaica's 55th Independence celebration held at the Beijing Marriott Northeast. Photo shows His Excellency Antonia Hugh of Jamaica cutting the cake while  his peers look on.  (From left to right) the Hon. Chelston Brathwaite of Barbados; H. E. Dr. Lloyd Pinas of Suriname; Mr. Long Yuxiang, President of the China International Culture Communication Center; Mr. Ralph Latortue Haiti's former Trade Representative to China and H.E. Dr. Denis Antoine of Grenada.

The independence address by Jamaica's Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness was read at the reception: "Our rich culture—our sports, music, dance, drama fashion and language—represents our soft power. Culturally, Jamaica is a superpower … Many scholars are now writing about the importance of soft power in international affairs. All over the world, people identify with the Jamaican culture."

Jamaica's national motto reads, "Out of Many One People," the Jamaican population is mixed with immigrants from China, Africa India and Europe. The Chinese community in Jamaica has risen to prominence, with people of Chinese descent assuming influential roles in all facets of Jamaican life.

Jeanette Kong, the Proprietor of Ms. Chin Productions, produced a documentary honoring the Chinese presence in Jamaica. A screening of the documentary was held at the Bookworm where Kong shared her inspiration.

"Bad Friday: Rastafari after Coral Gardens, and Four Days in May" a documentary that was directed and produced by Professor Thomas was also shown at the Bookworm.

In November, China and Jamaica will celebrate yet another milestone as the two countries look forward to commemorating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Jamaica was one of the first countries in the Caribbean to recognize the 'One-China' policy in 1972. 

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

 

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