His Excellency, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, arrives in Trinidad at 7.10 pm today (Friday) for a three-day State visit. He will be accompanied by his wife, Her Excellency, Peng Liyuan, and a number of Government officials and media personnel.
It is the first time that a Chinese President will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. Their Excellencies will be met at the South Terminal, Piarco International Airport by His Excellency, Anthony Carmona SC, Prime Minister the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Winston Dookeran.
President Xi will then be accompanied by President Carmona and the Prime Minister to the saluting dias where the National Anthems of both countries will be played by the Defence Force steelband. The Chinese President will inspect a Guard of Honour comprising members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar will accompany the Chinese President to the reception line, which will include Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Members of Cabinet, and the Leader of the Opposition.
On Saturday morning, their Excellencies will pay a courtesy call on His Excelleny President Carmona and her Excellency Reema Carmona at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA).
One hour later, the Chinese President will be welcomed by the Prime Minister at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. After signing the visitors ’ book and exchanging gifts, the Chinese delegation will begin bilateral talks with their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts, following which MOUs will be signed.
It is expected that both China and Trinidad and Tobago will review their existing bilateral relationship and will seek to deepen areas of trade and investment, energy, technical cooperation, and the exchange of high level visits and cultural exchanges.
Both countries are interested in strengthen the China-Caribbean cooperation and China-Latin America and Caribbean cooperation. Both leaders would seek an expansion of cooperation in international affairs, including, reform of the United Nations system; reform of the international financial and trade architecture, climate change, and global security.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar will also host a luncheon for the visiting delegation at the Diplomatic Centre. Following the luncheon, His Excellency will visit the Parliament Building, Wrightson Road and pay a courtesy call on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Wade Mark, and the President of the Senate, Timothy Hamel-Smith.
The Chinese President will also visit the site of the Couva Children’s Hospital for the ceremonial laying of the corner stone. The hospital is being built following a pledge from Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar when she assumed office in 2010. In the evening, President Carmona will host a State Banquet at the Hilton Hotel for the visiting Chinese delegation.
On Sunday, the Chinese President will meet at the Hilton Hotel with CARICOM leaders whose countries have diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. President Xi and his delegation will leave Trinidad on Sunday afternoon.
(Office of the Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago)
For the last decade or so, China has slowly but surely have been “encroaching” on the US turf, as the US fiddles and waste billions in resources with the Iraqi/Middle East conflict, while paying little or no attention to those in the region. According to one US Analyst with PFC Energy group For years and years, the hemisphere has been a low priority for the US, and the Chinese are taking advantage of it, the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Theyre taking advantage of the fact that we dont care as much as we should about Latin America.
One writer in describing the difference between China and US in the geopolitical joust of these Nations, likened it to the board games of Chess and Weiqi (Go-English interpretation)for those not familiar with Go; its an ancient Chinese board game that is far more technical than Chess, if you can believe that.”While the United States, a Chess player, is tightly focused on the Iraqi/Middle East conflict, which it considers to be the key to world peace and a springboard for global American hegemony, the Chinese are playing Weiqi on the global game board; with long term goals and multi-front objectives”.
Vice-President Biden was in the region just days ago…now the Chinese President is coming…can CARICOM capitalize on this window of opportunity. We know the main reason for China’s visit is really about energy and finding new markets; so in the grand scheme of things, TNT IS REALLY THE TRUE BENEFICIARY. But can the other CARICOM leaders use this opportunity to get some real substantial economic packages for its people and the wider region?
The next obvious question is, when is President Obama coming to the region? If President XI can come to TNT, what is President Obama doing? Sending Biden WILL NOT SUFFICE. One major criticism, I have with President Obama, he has not done enough to distance himself from his predecessor’s foreign policy stance or radically change the manner in which the US goes about handling its foreign policy. As a matter of fact on the US major foreign policies, there is little daylight between Obama and Bush, such pronouncement would have been sacrilegious to Democrats five years ago…but this is the reality of the Obama Presidency thus far.
Well suck my big toe!
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