‘Let us trust and count on each other’ – Chinese President tells Ali
By Fareeza Haniff in Chengdu, China
Guyana and China have committed to strengthening their bilateral relationship with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, urging the Guyanese Head of State, Dr Irfaan Ali to “trust and count on each other.”
During a bilateral meeting on Friday in Chengdu, China, the two leaders met face-to-face for the first time as President Ali visited the Asian country to attend the opening ceremony of the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games.
In his opening remarks, President Xi urged the building of a more “close-knit China-Guyana” community with a shared future.
The Chinese President said his country stands ready to support Guyana’s development path, strengthen communication and cooperation, and advance bilateral relations.
He said China is willing to deepen the alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and Guyana’s Low-carbon Development Strategy 2030, and elevate the level of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries.
According to President Xi, China encourages its companies to invest in Guyana and expand cooperation in areas such as energy, mining, finance, agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure construction.
Trade between Guyana and China has been steadily increasing over the past few years and at the end of 2022, bilateral trade in goods skyrocketed to US$1.88 billion (or GY $397.5 billion).
Trade increased from US$265 million in 2018 to US$1.88 billion in 2022 – a six-fold increase – making Guyana China’s largest trading partner among CARICOM countries.
Meanwhile, as President Xi congratulated Guyana on being elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2024-2025 term, he reiterated that China supports Guyana in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs, and is willing to work with Guyana to “practice true multilateralism, safeguard the common interests of developing countries, and jointly address global challenges such as climate change, food security and energy security.”
He said China is willing to work with Caribbean countries to build a closer community with a shared future.
In response, President Ali emphasized that Guyana firmly adheres to the one-China principle and “highly admires” President Xi’s “outstanding leadership, and values China’s international influence.”
The Guyanese leader said China has played an important role in the economic and social development of Guyana and the Caribbean region, not only by sharing its experience but also providing valuable assistance in developing infrastructure, connectivity, healthcare and other areas.