China gives Barbados over US$400 000 in military aid

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, February 29, 2008 – The Chinese army has given Barbados millions of dollars in equipment for its Defence Force, with promises of more aid to come in the form of training.

The donation includes computer equipment, audio visual aids such as presentation projectors with the latest technology, disaster equipment, power generators on trailers, tents, equipment for the mess hall among items costing the equivalent of just over US$421,000.

Chinese Ambassador Liu Huanxing who made the presentation said he hoped the items would help to improve the BDF’S working conditions and assist its officers in carrying out their tasks.

He added that although it had been a rather short time since the military forces of the two counties started their exchanges, they are already satisified with what had been achieved.

“The two military forces have maintained continuous high-level exchanges. By now, the Barbados Defence Force has sent seven officers to China to receive various sorts of military training. In March, another officer from the Barbados Defence Force will take part in another Chinese military training programme,” he said.

“Last week, the musical experts from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrived here. They will conduct musical exchanges with the band of the Barbados Defence Force during the four months of their stay. And before long, a martial arts master will arrive in Barbados to start a Chinese martial arts training programme for the Barbados Defence Force.”

The envoy also expressed his Government’s appreciation for “the steady adherence to the One China policy by the new Government of Barbados”, and its willingness to make joint efforts with Barbados to promote “the comprehensive development of mutually beneficial bilateral relations”.

Permanent Secretary, Defence and Security, Antoinette Williams, who accepted the donation on behalf of the BDF, thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for its “timely assistance” to the Force.

She also agreed that the resources would greatly enhance the everyday activities of the BDF.

China and Barbados have enjoyed over 31 years of friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in critical areas of development.