New China Embassay A Symbol Of Strengthened Ties
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The construction of an Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on New Providence is touted as a tangible symbol of friendship and mutually beneficial relations between both countries. These sentiments were expressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette at a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Construction of the Chancery of the People’s Republic of China on Shirley Street east, on Monday, February 21, 2011.
It has been several years since the diplomatic mission of China has expressed its interest in erecting its chancery in New Providence, and that time has now come, Mr. Symonette said.
“The completed chancery will not only be a testimony to the skills of the Chinese workers and artisans involved in the project, and of the significant interest and investment of your country, in cementing Bahamas/China relations, but also a tangible symbol of our friendship and mutually beneficial future,” he said.
The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China established bilateral diplomatic relations on May 23, 1997 and two months later China established a physical presence in the country. In turn, The Bahamas established a Consulate General in Hong Kong on February 1, 1999 and then on January 21, 2006 opened a Bahamas Embassy in Beijing.
“The Bahamas congratulates you and the construction company, (Guangdong Shantou Jian’an Group), and the government and the People of China all the best in the safe and sound construction of this new landmark in our relations,” Mr. Symonette said.
The embassy will be built on two acres of land with a total space of about 22,600 square feet, mainly consisting of an office space, a visa hall and an apartment building for the staff. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012. According to His Excellency Hu Dingxian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, the construction of a permanent embassy is a milestone in China-Bahamas relations.
“It is a showcase that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to our bilateral relations. It is also a good indication of sound existing relationship between China and The Bahamas, as well as a better and broader prospects of our future cooperation,” he said.
Construction of a new embassy is more about diplomacy and politics than just about architecture, the ambassador said, adding, “architecture is an international language that will make the embassy building work as a bridge between our two cultures.”
The Chinese Government has been renting for the past 10 years, facilities on Village Road.
However, with the rapid development and growth in bilateral relations in recent years, the workload has been increasing, the ambassador said. Also present for the groundbreaking ceremony were senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the official opposition, and the business community.
By Lindsay Thompson
Bahamas Information Services