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PM Welcomes China Foreign Affairs Minister

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Friday, September 22, 2006 - Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony says friendly relations between Saint Lucia and the People’s Republic of China will be taken one step further when China’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Li Zhaoxing, pays a historic visit to the island this weekend.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Saint Lucia yesterday confirmed that Mr Li, who will be the highest ranking Chinese Government official to visit Saint Lucia, arrives here on Sunday for a one-day visit.

According to Dr Anthony, “This visit comes against the background of nine years of a fruitful friendship between China and Saint Lucia.”

“It is a friendship that has worked to our mutual benefit and satisfaction,” said the Prime Minister, who will be meeting with the top Chinese official.

The Prime Minister said the visit “will also allow us to reaffirm to our Chinese friends our continuing gratitude for the cooperation and assistance that has resulted in the many forms of assistance that we have received.”

Ho noted that among the highlights of China’s assistance to Saint Lucia over the past nine years are the National Stadium and the Freezone Complex, both in Vieux Fort.

The Prime Minister said Saint Lucians “are witnessing with amazement, the manner in which the new national psychiatric hospital complex is taking shape on the Millennium Highway.”

He added: “Besides, when the new psychiatric hospital is completed, the People’s Republic of China will also build a brand new National Cultural Complex for the People of Saint Lucia.”

Meanwhile, the cooperation between the two countries will continue during the visit by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister, who will be accompanied by a ten-member delegation, which includes Ambassador to Saint Lucia Gu Huamin.

On Sunday evening, the visiting dignitary will sign yet another technical cooperation agreement between China and Saint Lucia.

On Sunday afternoon, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister will be welcomed at the Vigie Airport by a delegation led by Minister of Labour Hon. Velon John.

Later in the evening, the Chinese Foreign Minister and his delegation will meet with Prime Minister Anthony for talks on a wide range of subjects related to China-Saint Lucia cooperation.

The visit by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister follows visits to China earlier this year by Saint Lucia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Petrus Compton and Non-Resident Ambassador to China, Hon. Julian R. Hunte.

The Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister’s visit also takes place in the ninth year of bilateral relations between the two countries and on the eve of the 57th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

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