Over the past two decades, numerous questions may have arisen regarding the relationship between Dominica and China. However, for the Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Lin Xianjiang, these last twenty years have been characterized by the opening of doors to mutual understanding and respect across oceans, the planting of seeds for sincere cooperation and joint development, the initiation of a new era of people-to-people exchanges, and the crafting of a remarkable narrative of equal treatment and win-win cooperation among countries of varying sizes.

At a recent reception dinner commemorating the significant milestone of 20 years on March 13, His Excellency addressed state dignitaries, emphasizing that since the signing of the Joint Communiqué and the formal establishment of diplomatic relations on March 23, 2004, China and Dominica have witnessed numerous highlights and fruitful outcomes from various high-level exchanges.

Ambassador Xianjiang says these exchanges "have laid a solid foundation for strengthening political mutual trust and deepening bilateral friendship."

Some of the significant highlights he pointed out include the official signing of the MOU on Jointly Promoting the Construction of the Belt and Road in 2018, which has led to multiple high-quality projects improving people's livelihoods and injecting new driving forces for Dominica's development.

In public health, he emphasizes that the Chinese medical team not only provides patient care and saves lives but also nurtures talents, earning high praise from the public. The Dominica-China Friendship Hospital and the Cardiovascular Imaging Center, equipped with advanced technology, have significantly reduced the public's cost of accessing treatment for severe diseases.

He highlights the 19-year-long presence of the Chinese agricultural mission in Dominica, which dedicated itself to agricultural development and breakthroughs.

Regarding infrastructure, Ambassador Xianjiang's city projects, funded by China, like the Windsor Park Sports Stadium, serve as a valuable venue for a wide range of cultural and sports activities nationwide. The renovated West Coast Road projects include the York Valley Bridge and the State House.

Ambassador H.E. Lin, the 6th Ambassador of China to Dominica, announced his departure from the post to return to China. However, as the two nations progressed, he asserted the importance of adhering to and, in some cases, advancing several measures.

Firstly, he called for continued adherence to the guidance of head-of-state diplomacy and the full implementation of the critical consensus reached by the leaders of both countries. He emphasized the need to strengthen the China-Dominica community with a Shared Future and further elevate bilateral relations to new heights.

Secondly, he stressed the importance of strengthening communication and exchanges between political parties. Thirdly, he encouraged the deepening of policy synergy and the exploration of better paths for cooperation.

Additionally, he highlighted the necessity of further coordinating and cooperating in global governance. He urged for the promotion and guidance of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries to ensure that the friendship between China and Dominica is forever profoundly rooted in the people's hearts.

Reflecting on the achievements unlocked together, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit emphasized the partnership's role as a beacon of development, progress, and resilience for Dominicans, setting a precedent for international cooperation.

According to Skerrit, when he decided to recognize that there is but one China, he did so with the national interests at the centre of this vital alliance and, of course, all respect for international law.

"I felt then that our foreign policy should seamlessly align with our domestic policies to secure better, more progressive lives for all our citizens. I say with no fear of contradiction that my bold decision in 2004 has been rewarded 100-fold," he declared.

In his address, Skerrit underscored China's unparalleled solidarity and support in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that the friendship displayed during Dominica's time of need has left a profound mark on the hearts of the Dominican people.

As the nation celebrates the remarkable 20th anniversary of Dominica-China relations, Skerrit anticipated the future, envisioning deeper cooperation and a stronger friendship that will resonate through generations.

Skerrit reaffirmed Dominica's unwavering support for the one-China principle and pledged to reject any actions that seek to denigrate China's efforts in global development, peace, and security. He also reiterated Dominica's commitment to playing its part in the eventual peaceful reunification of China.

"We support and welcome initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the global civilization initiative promoted by President Xi," Skerrit emphasized. He further expressed willingness to enhance Dominica's involvement in projects associated with these initiatives to promote building a community with a shared future for humanity in this new era.

"As Prime Minister of Dominica, I am committed to fostering this partnership, exploring new avenues for collaboration, and building upon the solid foundation we have established over the past two decades," concluded Skerrit.