Military aid pledged by People’s Republic of China
Wed, 03/16/2016 - 12:00am
THE relationship between the governments of Barbados and the People’s Republic of China, was further strengthened yesterday, with a signing of an agreement for the provision of military aid to the island.
The signing took place at the historic St. Ann’s fort, headquarters of the Barbados Defence Force, yesterday morning between Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency Wang Ke, and Permanent Secretary (Ag) in the Division of Defence and Security, Timothy Maynard.
The brief ceremony was attended by a number of high ranking military officials, including Chief of Staff of the BDF, Colonel Alvin Quintyne and Major General Hu Changming, Deputy Chief, Office for Military Co-operation Ministry of National Defence of China, with his delegation.
The Permanent Secretary thanked the visiting officials on behalf of Prime Minister of Barbados, the Right Excellent Freundel Stuart. He said the gesture of goodwill will go a long way to expand the skill sets of the local military, and by extension, the Government of Barbados, to be able to respond with even greater assurance to humanitarian and rescue missions, both within Barbados and the wider sub-region.
“Barbados, and in particular our soldiers, welcome this type of support, especially since we live in a region where natural disasters can erode decades of hard fought gains for small open economies like ours.”
Maynard said the signing is timely, since it coincides with Barbados’ 50 years of independence, and is one year before the two countries celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. He commended the fact that genuine co-operation has existed, and that the differences between the two economies have not been a barrier in relations, as demonstrated by support in the provision of scholarships and contribution to the tourism sector.
He revealed that this is the fourth such agreement, since 2004, executed between the two nations in the areas of travel, trade and technical co-operation.
“Some of the projects facilitated by the Chinese Government have helped to advance Barbados’ social and economic well-being over the past three decades.”
Ambassador Wang Ke, in response, said this gesture of friendship and unity will benefit the BDF, and also the Barbados government, and assured that the Chinese government will continue to give assistance to the government and people of Barbados in efforts to support national development and security. (JH)