Dominica and China sign multi-million dollar agreements

by STAFF WRITER

ROSEAU, Dominica, Nov 29, CMC – China Wednesday “opened a new page” of its friendship with Dominica providing the hurricane battered Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries with economic and military aid as it rebuilds following the storm.

China’s Ambassador to Dominica, LU Kun described the new agreements totalling nearly US$20 million as “momentous,” adding that Beijing was providing “more support to our Dominica friends” following the September 18 Category 5 hurricane that killed at least 28 people and left millions of dollars in damage.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (left) and China’s ambassador LU Kun shake hands after signing MOUs

He said that the development “will open a new page for China-Dominica friendship and cooperation”.

The Chinese diplomat said that the “signing of these agreements are not only a reflection of the valuable China-Dominica friendship but also a symbol of China’s quick and strong support to the recovery and the rebuilding efforts of Dominica after the ravages of Hurricane Maria”.

He said China was all too aware of the damage caused by the hurricane, noting “we stand together more closely in face of this natural disaster.

“We provided emergency humanitarian relief cash aid of US$800,000 to the Dominica government. Furthermore, China has offered a grant of US$3-million through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement a roof restoration project in Dominica.”

He said under the new agreement China is providing approximately US$14-million to implement post-Maria rebuilding projects, especially in the area of public infrastructure.

“We are looking forward to receiving the project proposal from the Dominica government. Secondly the Defence Ministry of China will provide Dominica with logistic material assistance to the value of about….something like three million US dollars to strengthen Dominica’s rebuilding capacity.”

He said that Beijing is also providing technical assistance to the island and will send agricultural experts to implement the Seventh Agricultural Technical Cooperation “as soon as possible which will help Dominicans revitalize the agricultural industry.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who signed the agreements said that US$14 million agreement will be used for the construction of “smart climate resilient schools for our citizens and our students” and has given the Ministry of Education eight days to submit proposals for the schools to be considered which will be forwarded to the Chinese government.

Skerrit used the opportunity to re-state his administration’s support for the “One China” policy and that Roseau would continue to accept the measure “as a matter of principle.

“You do not know who your friends are in good times, you know who your friends are in difficult times and China continues to demonstrate its full friendship with Dominica in our worst difficult circumstances,” he said, reminding the audience that in 2004, his administration had taken the decision to have diplomatic relations with China rather than with Taiwan which China considers a renegade province.

“We continue to respect international law and we continue to respect that there is but One China as a matter of principle. So rest assured of my government continued support to the One China Policy and doing all we can for the peaceful unification of the whole of China,” he told the ceremony.

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by STAFF WRITER

ROSEAU, Dominica, Nov 29, CMC – China Wednesday “opened a new page” of its friendship with Dominica providing the hurricane battered Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries with economic and military aid as it rebuilds following the storm.

China’s Ambassador to Dominica, LU Kun described the new agreements totalling nearly US$20 million as “momentous,” adding that Beijing was providing “more support to our Dominica friends” following the September 18 Category 5 hurricane that killed at least 28 people and left millions of dollars in damage.

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Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (left) and China’s ambassador LU Kun shake hands after signing MOUs

He said that the development “will open a new page for China-Dominica friendship and cooperation”.

The Chinese diplomat said that the “signing of these agreements are not only a reflection of the valuable China-Dominica friendship but also a symbol of China’s quick and strong support to the recovery and the rebuilding efforts of Dominica after the ravages of Hurricane Maria”.

He said China was all too aware of the damage caused by the hurricane, noting “we stand together more closely in face of this natural disaster.

“We provided emergency humanitarian relief cash aid of US$800,000 to the Dominica government. Furthermore, China has offered a grant of US$3-million through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement a roof restoration project in Dominica.”

He said under the new agreement China is providing approximately US$14-million to implement post-Maria rebuilding projects, especially in the area of public infrastructure.

“We are looking forward to receiving the project proposal from the Dominica government. Secondly the Defence Ministry of China will provide Dominica with logistic material assistance to the value of about….something like three million US dollars to strengthen Dominica’s rebuilding capacity.”

He said that Beijing is also providing technical assistance to the island and will send agricultural experts to implement the Seventh Agricultural Technical Cooperation “as soon as possible which will help Dominicans revitalize the agricultural industry.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who signed the agreements said that US$14 million agreement will be used for the construction of “smart climate resilient schools for our citizens and our students” and has given the Ministry of Education eight days to submit proposals for the schools to be considered which will be forwarded to the Chinese government.

Skerrit used the opportunity to re-state his administration’s support for the “One China” policy and that Roseau would continue to accept the measure “as a matter of principle.

“You do not know who your friends are in good times, you know who your friends are in difficult times and China continues to demonstrate its full friendship with Dominica in our worst difficult circumstances,” he said, reminding the audience that in 2004, his administration had taken the decision to have diplomatic relations with China rather than with Taiwan which China considers a renegade province.

“We continue to respect international law and we continue to respect that there is but One China as a matter of principle. So rest assured of my government continued support to the One China Policy and doing all we can for the peaceful unification of the whole of China,” he told the ceremony.