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Ambassador FANG Qiu's Signed Article: Co-building a Shared Future of "Abundance" for China and Trinidad & Tobago

On 20 November 2020, Ambassador FANG Qiu's signed article titled "Co-building a Shared Future of "Abundance" for China and Trinidad & Tobago" was published by Newsday, Express and Guardian in Trinidad and Tobago. Here is the full text of the article:



There is no higher honour for me than to serve as the 14th Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I wish to take this opportunity to convey cordial greetings from the people of China, whom I represent, to the wonderful people of Trinidad and Tobago, who I am happy to know.

Due to the transportation disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it took me over 40 hours of flight in four days to finally land on this gem in the Caribbean Sea for the very first time in my life. As I began to settle in and become familiar with your country, the words of President Xi Jingping during his 2013 visit to T&T kept coming back to me: "Paradise on earth...kingdom of birds". I have found this to be an apt description of your marvellous twin-island nation. In fact, I now have a daily routine of posting my life in T&T on Facebook.

The Chinese abbreviation of "Trinidad and Tobago" is "Te Duo" (pinyin), meaning "Land of Abundance", which is an accurate pictogram for your society. T&T has long enjoyed an abundance of natural resources, economic vitality, human resources, and cultural diversity. Even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, T&T displays an abundance of governmental stewardship, citizen fraternity, economic resilience, and international solidarity, as vividly demonstrated by the joint anti-Covid-19 efforts of our two countries. This is yet another testament to our relationship with an abundance of historical ties, mutual trust, tangible cooperation and many "firsts" over the past 46 years. President Xi said that "Bosom friends make distance disappear". Although located in different regions, China and T&T regard each other as a close friend and trustworthy partner. As we all know, T&T was the first in the region among the Latin American and Caribbean countries to join China's Belt and Road Initiative. China-T&T bilateral trade is the first to top US$1 billion in the region. The list could go on and on.

I am heartened to note that the T&T government has effectively implemented well-calibrated measures for mitigating the pandemic and rolled out a strategic plan for revitalizing economic growth. Great countries think alike. China itself has expended enormous efforts to strike a balance between epidemic control and economic recovery. As a result, we have had a return to economic growth in the third quarter. China expects to meet its imminent goal of building a moderately prosperous society within its targeted timeframe, and will next year embark on a new journey to fully create a modern socialist country. The recently concluded Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China mapped out the blueprint for both the coming five years (the 14th Five Year Plan) and the next 15 years. Among the highlights are further reform and opening up, high quality development, and optimizing the nation's development pattern.

Both our countries are thus entering new stages of national development, creating new prospects of a shared future of "Abundance".

---- Abundance of public health. China and T&T have been fighting in brotherhood against Covid-19, supporting each other in morale and materials. I felt very proud that Chinese companies have done their part in constructing and upgrading the Couva and Arima hospitals, providing quality health-care facilities to Trinis when the pandemic started to hit their shores. China has joined the COVAX facility, through which we will share vaccines with all the world, and developing countries in particular. The Chinese government has sent several medical teams over the past years to carry out exchanges here. China has also been a leading producer of health-related technology such as remote diagnosis, medical robots, and other innovations. As passengers in the same boat, China and T&T should come together to build a common community with reliable public health for all our citizens.

---- Abundance of economic opportunities. China has a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of more than 400 million. Total imports into China are estimated to top US $22 trillion in the coming decade. As President Xi Jinping emphasized at the 3rd China International Import Expo, "Our aim is to turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all." China's foreign direct investment flow in 2019, which is ranked second in the world, has been injecting valuable stimulus into the moribund world economy. The massive domestic market and foreign investment from China will continue to unleash enormous economic opportunities for China-T&T cooperation.

---- Abundance of quality development. China will continue to focus on innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, meshing with T&T's national vision of creativity, diversification, and sustainability. It is our greatest dream to explore cooperation in e-commerce, e-governance, e-education, e-health, eco-tourism and eco-agriculture based on game-changing techs like 5G, AI, and environmentally friendly innovations. These are the driving forces shaping our future.

---- Abundance of common prosperity. Domestically, China has continuously upheld the people-centred philosophy of development and stayed true to our original aspiration to pursue happiness for our citizens, revitalization of the nation, and harmony in the world. To this end, we are actively building a network of international partnerships as we work towards a shared future for all. I have discovered the same spirit in the national motto of T&T – "Together we aspire, together we achieve". It is our two countries' common goal to create a better future of shared prosperity for our peoples and future generations. All of us are witnesses, beneficiaries, and builders of the ongoing development of China-T&T relations.   

I have full confidence that, in this "Land of Abundance", China and Trinidad and Tobago will work hand in hand towards a stronger relationship of "abundance", bringing more prosperity and goodwill to both our countries and to the world.

I am proud to be here in T&T to help realize this vision.

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