Ambassador Choo lauds ‘people to people’ exchange as foundation of Guyana, China relations
By Fareeza Haniff in Beijing
Guyana’s Ambassador to China Anyin Choo on Wednesday lauded the “people to people” exchange between Guyana and China as the bedrock of relations between the countries which have spanned the last five decades and have included cooperation in everything from agriculture and health to defence cooperation and infrastructural development.
A lavish ceremony was held at Guyana’s Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday evening to celebrate 50 years since Guyana established diplomatic relations with China, becoming the first country in the Caribbean to do so.
The ceremony was attended by government officials from the People’s Republic of China, members of the Diplomatic Corps, business executives and other guests. The entertainment ranged from the singing of a popular Chinese song by an overseas-based Guyanese singer, a sample of Eddy Grant’s iconic “Electric Avenue”, performed by a singer from the US, and a fashion show.
The reception to celebrate the 50-year friendship between Guyana and China showcased the culture of the two countries, and according to Ambassador Choo, “this is illustrative of the exchanges at the people-to-people level, the promotion of understanding and that bridge of friendship that was built over time and has touched the lives of our two people. This is the strong foundation on which our bilateral relations with China have been premised.”
The Ambassador further noted that a series of high-level exchange visits over the years have contributed toward the building of a “strong foundation for the continued exchanges between our two nations, not only at the official and political levels but also at the people-to-people level.”
She reminded that Guyana led the English-speaking Caribbean in establishing formal diplomatic relations with China and was also the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish a diplomatic mission in Beijing.
Cooperation between Guyana and China encompasses many sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture, education, health, information communications technology, private investments, sport, trade, transportation, and culture among others.
She said that the high-level dialogue and exchanges between President Dr Irfaan Ali and President Xi Jinping are a testimony to the commitment by both sides to further strengthen the practical forms of partnerships, enhance cooperation and explore new forms of collaboration.
Ambassador Choo also acknowledged China’s generosity to Guyana during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the much-needed live-saving vaccines.
“The global pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives as global citizens and has magnified the need for global cooperation in the medical field. At a time when there was an acute shortage of (PPE) and COVID-19 vaccines globally, China extended a helping hand to many developing countries, including Guyana; despite its own internal challenges and provided much-needed aid in combating the pandemic.
“This is exemplary of China’s commitment to working with the global community for the good of all during challenging times.”
Additionally, since 1993, Guyana has consistently received a Chinese medical brigade which has contributed significantly to the improvement of public health care in Guyana.
Meanwhile, Xie Feng, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reminded that Chinese nationals make up one of the six ethnic groups in Guyana.
He, too, lauded the 50 years of friendship and described it as “smooth as the El Dorado rum.”
“Fifty years into our relations, our traditional friendship…in the past decades has become sweet and smooth as the El Dorado rum. China, Guyana relations are now a sterling example of equality and mutual benefit between countries with different sizes,” Xie said.
The Chinese official noted that the two countries share similar visions as he reiterated his government’s commitment to further strengthening the relations.