The Dominica-China Friendship Association has been launched to further strengthen collaboration between Dominica and the People’s Republic of China.
The association was launched during a ceremony held at the State House conference centre on the weekend. “The main objectives of the association [are] stated in the constitution as follows: to further strengthen and promote Friendship cooperation and collaboration between people from the Commonwealth of Dominica and the People’s Republic of China in selected areas of mutual understanding and interests consistent with the principles that guide government-to-government relations,” President of the Dominica China Friendship Association, Ambassador Steve Ferrol said.
According to him, closely linked to the objectives of the association is a statement of principle in the constitution which states that the Dominica China Friendship Association recognizes that friendship between the people of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the People’s Republic of China must be based on the knowledge of, and respect for, sovereignty and a right to self-determination of each country.
“Therefore we support the declaration of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica in support of international law that there is only one China, the People’s Republic of China and the resolution of the status of Taiwan is an internal affair of the Chinese…,” Ferrol remarked.
He said further that the members of the association are therefore drawn to friends of China including those who have lived, studied, visited, or have an interest in Dominica-China people-to-people relations, “and who subscribe to the objective principle and constitution of the association.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who also addressed the ceremony said the launch of the association comes at a time of great economic and social uncertainty worldwide which makes a strong case for building dependable relationships with the country’s diplomatic partners throughout the world.
“In our global environment characterized by conflict, economic and social unrest, disease and climate crisis there is a need for even more effective engagement and exchanges among countries,” Skerrit stated.
He went on to say that through communication and people-to-people connections and bilateral engagements between governments, “We can create new opportunities for our people to help them transcend the challenges of the times.”
Skerrit indicated that over the 18 years of friendship Dominicans have gained a lot from the collaboration between Dominica and China.
“When I took the bold decision to establish formal ties with China in 2004, I did so with the interest and well-being of the Dominican people as my foremost concern…,” he said.
Skerrit continued, “Years later we have had ample evidence that this was a sound decision which has enhanced the lives of the Dominican people and contributed to our country’s enhancement in several development sectors.”
Meantime, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Dominica, His Excellency Lin Xianjiang said the embassy stands ready to provide all necessary assistance and facilitation for the conduct of its work.
The ambassador pledged to do his utmost, whether in good times or bad, to help with Dominica’s economy and social development, “and promote the well-being of Dominican people.”
He wishes that the Dominica-China Friendship association grows stronger, “as it opens a new chapter in China-Dominica relations.”