There have been alliances and partnerships between Jamaica and China since the dawn of time. The idea of “you wash my back, I wash yours” has been practiced for decades and both countries have reaped mutual benefit which has helped with the development of their countries.
“China has been treated well by Jamaica. Jamaica was the first in the Caribbean to officially recognize the New China. For decades, Jamaica has firmly upheld the One-China Policy in supporting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China and Jamaica, despite their differences in area, history, and culture, are fully equal. Our Friendly Partnership for Common Development is a perfect elaboration of mutual respect and equality.” – Ambassador NIU Qingbao.
Apart from the aiding of building roadways in Jamaica, the most recent donation comes from China for the building of a children’s hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica in the amount of thirty-six million USD.
“Partnership means mutual respect and equality. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are fundamental principles of China’s foreign policy, which are: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. The China-Jamaica relationship perfectly reflects these five principles.” – Ambassador NIU Qingbao.
The event took place on October 18, 2018, where Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister and His Excellency Tian Qi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica signed the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement. This outlined that the Chinese government’s provision of $36.16 USD or 250 RMB Yuan would be facilitated in grant support to build the Western Children’s Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The signing was also witnessed by the Jamaican Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton.
“Today represents a further very positive development, and we certainly look forward to building on this….. We are pleased that the hospital will not only create jobs in the construction phase but in its development and implementation… [We] will have a need for more nurses, doctors, anesthetists, caretakers, and more service providers generally. So, we see this hospital as not only [pivotal in] attaining our health SDG, but certainly moving Jamaica towards prosperity.” – Minister Christopher Tufton told the Jamaica Observer.
This was a venture agreed upon by both countries and the 220-bed facility will be constructed on the Cornwall Region Hospital compound in Montego Bay which will commence in March 2019. This agreement is “another positive development and demonstration of the effective and strong cooperation between our countries” as stated by the Senator of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Mrs. Kamina Johnson Smith and she added that it will surely aid in accomplishing their Sustainable Development Goals, especially the health goals.
“I believe that with the completion of the hospital, medical service for the children, not only in the western region but the entire island will be substantially improved. Additionally, a lot of job opportunities will be provided… and the social and economic development in and around the region will be promoted.” – Minister Christopher Tufton told the Jamaica Observer.
By Alexandra Daley