Dominica and the People’s Republic of China celebrate a significant milestone, one decade of fruitful relationships between the two countries. Dominica established diplomatic relations on March 23, 2004. Since then the two countries have enjoyed a meaningful partnership promoting mutual cooperation, culture and peace, which has been significantly beneficial to the Commonwealth of Dominica in a variety of sectors as Dominica continues to support the One China Policy.
It is therefore with much satisfaction that Government begins celebrations with the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China to mark the first decade of Diplomatic relations. This as the Nanjing National Orchestra stages a cultural performance on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 8:00pm at the Arawak House of Culture. The cultural performance on Friday is open to the general public and all are invited to participate in this activity.
The Nanjing National Orchestra was established in 1986 and is comprised of artist of Chinese folk music. Since 1988, the group has presented Chinese folk music worldwide, including holding concerts in the United States, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Sweden, Germany, Japan, and France. The group has promoted cultural exchanges between the PRC and the rest of the world.
The Government of Dominica and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China will also host a cocktail reception on Saturday, March 22 at the Conference Center of the State House to officially celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Dominica-China relationship. A year of joint activities is planned to commemorate the first decade of Dominica–China diplomatic relations throughout 2014.
At the Human Resource Development level, the total number of Dominicans (Public & Private Sector professionals) who have benefited from Chinese sponsored Training opportunities, and who have visited the People’s Republic of China during period 2005 to 2013 is between 800 and 900. An additional group of ten (10) Dominican students began university studies in China in 2013, bringing the total to about 130 full Government Scholarships awarded to the Government of Dominica since 2004.
A number of Technical and Economic Cooperation Projects aided by the Government of the People’s Republic of China are underway in Dominica. Among these are: Dominica State House and Dominica State College, New Town Primary School, Fourth Phase Windsor Park Sports Stadium Technical Cooperation Maintenance Project as well as the Supplementary Engineering Works on E O Leblanc Highway, including Bus Shelters. The Installation of Chinese Agricultural Cooperation at One Mile Agricultural Station at Portsmouth and the reconstruction of the Agricultural Demonstration Centre in that area, including the Carib Territory Housing Project which is in its final phase, as well as the 3rd Phase of Chinese Medical Cooperation at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
The Chinese Government responded positively to Invest Dominica Authority (IDA) request for financial support for sewing groups in rural communities, and provided funding to cover acquisition of Sewing Machines, in testimony of strengthening cooperation with the Government of Dominica in job creation and community empowerment. The Dominica Police Force has also been supported with material and equipment, including motorcycles as well as formal communication language skills in mandarin Chinese.
Further, in respect to regional development, China is one of 5 non-borrowing members of the Caribbean Development bank (CDB) whose purpose is ‘to contribute to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and to promote economic cooperation among them, having special and urgent regard for the needs of the less developed members of the region.’ China is also a contributor to The Disaster Mitigation Facility for the Caribbean (DMFC), an initiative of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to promote sustainable development through reduction of natural hazard risk in CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).