By Fareeza Haniff in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
President Dr Irfaan Ali on Monday met with China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, at the sidelines of the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain.
The delegations discussed a range of issues, including President Ali’s impending State visit to China later this month and Guyana’s election to the United Nations Security Council.
On the latter point, President Ali outlined that in addition to shaping a “more peaceful world,” Guyana can provide strong leadership in the areas of climate security, energy security and food security.
“We also look forward to the opportunity to be on the Security Council as we work towards shaping a more peaceful world, shaping a world in which social, and economic justice is linked to the overall security of the global citizenry…that is important for us…one in which there is climate justice, energy justice, one in which the issues of climate security, energy security, food security are looked at and approached in a very balanced way…
“Those are things we believe we can provide strong leadership on, and we look forward to China’s support as we advance our own credentials in providing leadership on food security, climate security and energy security,” President Ali told the Chinese Foreign Affairs official.
In response, Minister Hua said China is ready to help, especially in the area of climate change.
“We are ready to work closely with Guyana; your strong leadership, we are glad to see your strong economic development and the achievements you have made.”
Last month, Guyana secured a seat on the UN Security Council and will serve as a non-permanent member for the 2024 to 2025 term. China is among the five permanent members of the council.
Meanwhile, President Ali reiterated that China remains one of Guyana’s longstanding partners and he recommitted to the ‘One China’ policy.
He noted that Guyana’s development strategy has been shared with China’s President, Xi Jinping, outlining infrastructure plans and areas of possible investment.
“And we’ve had tremendous interest from China in various aspects of our national development, so I look forward to the meetings we will have in China on the official State visit we will have at the end of this month and for us to work out the mechanism and to finalise a number of the development projects we have on that menu of measures,” the Head of State said.
Guyana and China last year celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations.