KINGSTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- People-to-people and cultural exchanges between Jamaica and China have helped consolidate friendship, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has said.
Simpson-Miller said this as she, along with other government officials, on Wednesday attended the opening of a classical Chinese garden in the capital city of Kingston.
"This Chinese garden here, in our garden of hope, is a celebration of our common heritage amid diversity," Simpson-Miller told Xinhua.
The Tong Le Garden, located in the botanical reserve area known as Hope Gardens, covers 55,000 square meters. The 2-million-dollar project was funded by the Chinese government and Chinese communities in Jamaica.
The plan to build the Chinese garden was sealed in 2012 when Jamaica and China witnessed the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, she said.
"We appreciate the kindness and friendship of the Chinese government to give us a gift as beautiful as this is. It's a gift that keeps on giving, it is timeless."
The prime minister said Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to establish diplomatic ties with China and China had proved a "trusted friend" of Jamaica during 43 years of a productive and mutually beneficial economic and cultural partnership.
Simpson-Miller highlighted the cultural exchanges between Jamaica and China, which, she said, triggered critical thoughts and helped form better understanding of each other and the whole world.
"This comes one year after we celebrated 160 years of the Chinese community in Jamaica. The Chinese have been an important part of Jamaican family," the prime minister said.
"In addition to the construction machinery, technical equipment and materials, the Chinese people also brought here love, affinity, as well as sentiment of peace and friendship," she added.