PM Roosevelt Skerrit arrives in China, celebrates 20 years of diplomatic ties

Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit arrived in Beijing, China on Saturday for an official visit to mark the 20 years of diplomatic relations between Dominica and the People’s Republic of China.

PM Skerrit with his wife in China
PM Skerrit with his wife in China

Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit arrived in Beijing, China on Saturday for an official visit to mark the 20 years of diplomatic relations between Dominica and the People’s Republic of China.

He was accompanied by Melissa Skerrit- Minister for Housing and Urban Development and shared glimpses of being welcomed in China. PM Skerrit said that the official visit will celebrate the 20th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“I am accompanied by my wife, Hon. Melissa Poponne-Skerrit, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, and other senior government ministers, ”said the prime minister.

The delegation of Dominica will stay for a week in China and participate in several meetings, business talks, and planning to foster the bilateral ties between the two countries. PM Skerrit will attend a series of events and meet with several diplomatic leaders to discuss matters of concern related to both China and Dominica.

PM Skerrit with his wife in China
PM Skerrit with his wife in China

He will meet with China’s President Xi Jinping and talk about the multilateral and cooperation matters of both countries. The meeting is aimed at enhancing collaboration and recalling the progress made by the nations in diplomatic affairs in the last 20 years.

Besides this, the meeting will also take place between PM Skerrit and Li Qiang and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Zhao Leji.

Further, the talks will also be held with top business leaders to enhance the opportunities for investment and trade between China and Dominica. PM Roosevelt Skerrit will meet these leaders to enhance the footprints of both nations in the business world.

PM Skerrit will also attend the Boao Forum for Asia in South China’s Hainan Province and celebrate the 20 years. He said,”My delegation and I will also hold talks with top business leaders and attend the Boao Forum for Asia in South China’s Hainan Province.”

During this visit, the delegation of Dominica will sign several cooperation agreements, further cementing the strong bilateral ties with the People’s Republic of China.

Ahead of his official visit to China, PM Skerrit also participated in an exclusive interview in which he termed China “a true friend” of Dominica. He said,” China has been a true friend of Dominica, and I would say an all-weather friend.”

China- Dominica Ties

PM Skerrit said that their strong recognition and adherence to the one-China principle is the centerpiece of the diplomatic relations between Dominica and China. He also talked about several projects and initiatives that were supported by China in the country and said that these steps have helped them.

Firstly, he talked about the Belt and Road initiative which has opened up numerous opportunities to provide technical, financing, and material support to build economic independence and to advance the social development of Dominica.

Under the initiative, PM Skerrit outlined, ”We have been able to see an expansion of the cooperation in agriculture from China which is aiding us in our food security, and increasing the contribution of agriculture to our gross domestic product.”

The prime minister added that the step has also helped Dominica to transfer the technology to our local farmers in order to advance the agriculture business and to see a better return on the investment.

Citing the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, PM Skerrit recalled the advancements made in the health sector and said they have introduced new technologies, equipment and cooperation in respect to the cardiology department that has been created with the support of China.

In the education sector, Dominica has had several individuals attending universities in China and attaining their degrees. He noted that most of them have come back to the country and are working in several fields such as medicine, agriculture, architecture, environmental studies, international relations studies, and psychology.

“Every country has the right to determine their own political system and I believe that the system which exists in China has also contributed to China’s prosperity and the improvement in the way of life of the Chinese people, ”said the prime minister.

He stressed that the talks and engagements between the countries could determine the peace and prosperity in the world, even in times of several global challenges.

Talking about CELAC, the prime minister noted that Dominica has good relations with all the countries in CELAC. Dominica will continue to serve as the bridge between CELAC and China and advance collaboration and cooperation.

“We further looking forward to deepening bilateral ties between Dominica and China, but also to assist in us working together in address the global issues and enhance the peace and security,” PM Skerrit added.