The city of Montego Bay, St. James has been twinned with the city of Zhuhai in the Peoples Republic of China. The Memorandum of Understanding, MoU establishing this new sister city relationship was signed on Saturday February 06, 2021 and brings to three, the number of cities in China to be twinned with Montego Bay with Hangzhou and Yiwu being the others.
Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams and Vice Mayor of the City of Zhuhai, Li Chong both affixed their signatures to the document during a joint virtual ceremony held in Montego Bay and Zhuhai.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mayor Williams expressed pleasure at the development and stated that the coming together of Montego Bay and Zhuhai represents yet another bonding of two great countries, Jamaica and China which have over many years enjoyed a great diplomatic relationship.
Mayor Williams said “I am very pleased to be part if this ceremony where we are signing a letter of intent to establish a sister city relationship between Montego Bay and Zhuhai. This relationship will brings our people closer and will further cement the very cordial and productive relationship which is enjoyed by Jamaica and China”.
In expressing appreciation to the Chinese Government and to that country’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi for its support of Jamaica over the years, Mayor Williams said Jamaica and China are now closer because of the established partnership.
“Let me express thanks to members of the Chinese government and to Your Excellency Tian Qi and his team here, including Mr. Yangsen Li for their efforts to bring together two nations who share various cultures and beliefs. The world is now a much smaller place due to technology and certainly on behalf of the St. James Municipal Corporation I commit to play our part in maintaining and strengthening the sister city relationships which are already in place and certainly to nurture this new relationship as we move forward”, Mayor Williams stated.
He pointed out that there are several areas of opportunities and cooperation between Montego Bay and Zhuhai which he will explored under this new Montego Bay-Zhuhai sister city relationship.
Mayor Williams said “COVID 19 has been impacting operations across the world, but I look forward to us getting back to normal very soon and that will give us the opportunity to meet face to face and explore all our plans and possibilities. The relationship which Montego Bay enjoys with Hangzhou and Yiwu will be complemented by this new relationship with Zhuhai as we remain open to all the discussions and possibilities aimed at making our cities better. I welcome and endorse the establishment of this new sister city relationship between Montego Bay and Zhuhai and I look forward to great things going forward.”
Also addressing the ceremony was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Hon. Dr. Horace Chang who said “the signing is another statement of the long standing friendship between the people of China and the people of Jamaica. The friendship between Jamaica and chine is strong and long lasting.”
Dr. Chang added that Jamaica shares a number of firsts with China and in very short order workers from that Asian country will be engaged in the construction of the Montego Bay perimeter roadway.
“We (Jamaica) were the first country in the Caribbean to adopt the “One China” policy and the first to establish diplomatic relations with China…and our friendship has grown from strength to strength. At the moment in partnership with China, we have started the process of rehabilitating and developing our road infrastructure and very soon China Harbour will be building the Montego Bay perimeter road. The friendship between Jamaica and China is one of respect for each other and one which includes a great cultural bond”, Dr. Chang said.
He pointed out that “Zhuhai is a very dynamic city with a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, similar to what exists in Montego Bay and I am sure that there are areas of opportunities which will be explored in that area. With the signing of this MoU, I look forward to the strengthening of the bond between Zhuhai and Montego Bay and by extension Jamaica”
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi in welcoming the sister city relationship between Montego Bay and Zhuhai said “the signing of this MoU represents a great symbol of cooperation ship and partnership between Jamaica and China which is also an extension of diplomatic relationship between both countries. This is a really good signal of the bond between two great countries.”
Ambassador Qi added that “this year we can witness greater progress in our mutually beneficial relationship between Jamaica and China in general and Montego Bay and Zhuhai in particular. Today’s signing of this MoU is just the first step towards future developments and partnerships on real tangible programmes and projects to benefit everyone and represents another great beginning of friendship between the two cities and will result in great development and progress for the future.”
Zhuhai, China is a prefecture-level city located on the west bank of Pearl River estuary on the central coast of southern Guangdong province, People's Republic of China, on the southeastern edge of Pearl River Delta. Its name literally means "pearl sea", which originates from the city's location at the mouth of the Pearl River meeting the South China Sea. Zhuhai borders Jiangmen to the west, Zhongshan to the north and Macau to the southeast, and shares maritime boundaries with Shenzhen and Hong Kong to the northeast across the estuary.
Zhuhai was one of the original four Special Economic Zones established in 1980, as well as one of China's premier tourist destinations, being called the Chinese Riviera. While the city is located in the traditionally Cantonese-speaking region of Guangdong, a significant portion of the population is now made up of Mandarin-speaking economic migrants originally from inland provinces.
The core of Zhuhai, in the northeastern portion of the administrative division, is part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the biggest built-up area in the world with more than 44,478,513 inhabitants at the 2010 census, encompassing Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan, Macau, Hong Kong, the main part of Guangzhou, and small parts of Jiangmen and Huizhou cities.
In 2014 the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, recognized Zhuhai as the most livable city in China.