Chinese political leaders visiting Jamaica
A 14-member delegation from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will meet with members of both Houses of Jamaica's Parliament at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston this morning.
The Chinese delegation is led by Bateer (as a Mongolian Chinese he does not have a family name), who heads the CPPCC and is the minister of national ethnic affairs.
The team, which arrived in Jamaica yesterday, will explore Jamaica's political relationship with Beijing.
Among the Jamaican parliamentarians expected to be present at today's meeting are President of the Senate Senator Thomas Tavares-Finson; Speaker of the House of Representatives Pearnel Charles Sr; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith; Karl Samuda, leader of the House of Representatives and minister without portfolio in charge of education, youth and information; and Dr Morais Guy, leader of opposition business in the House.
China's ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi will also attend the meeting.
The local media have been invited to the meeting, but are expected to exit the hotel after the opening formalities.
Bateer has also served as a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and as chairman of the Autonomous City People's Congress of Inner Mongolia autonomous region in Wuhai City.
Last night, Charles said that the visitors have expressed interest in improving their understanding of Jamaica's political and democratic systems and their relations with the country.
“They want to meet with us as parliamentarians, and we welcome the opportunity to share our views on our political development as a democracy, and to see how our Parliament works,” Charles said.
The visitors will be here until December 5. However, the media have only been informed of one other engagement — a function at the National Gallery in downtown Kingston which is scheduled to start at 10:00 am tomorrow.
However, Jamaicans should not be surprised to see some of the visitors in the gallery at today's sitting of the House of Representatives.