The Bahamas saluted the People’s Republic of China on its 59th Anniversary this week.

During an anniversary celebration at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort Tuesday, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Barnett underscored the importance of this mutual relationship.

“We have forged closer ties through cultural exchanges, through our participation in youth festivals, language training and by the establishment of The Bahamas-China Friendship Association, which seeks to strengthen our people to people contacts,” Senator Barnett said.

The Government of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations with the signing of a Joint Communiqué on May 23, 1997.

“A number of important accords relating to education, culture and commerce have been reached between our two countries,” Senator Barnett said.

He noted that since the founding of the PRC on October 1, 1949, “the new government assumed control of a people exhausted by two generations of war and social conflict, and an economy ravaged by high inflation and disrupted transportation links.

“Today, a new political and economic order is established. Indeed it is a notable accomplished that over the past 59 years, the world’s most populous nation has emerged as the fastest growing economy and the number one location globally for foreign direct investment,” he said.

The deadly earthquake that claimed approximately 10,000 lives in Central China, “has not diminished China’s strength,” Senator Barnett said.

“Most recently, the world witnessed her rich historic and cultural heritage displayed during the recent Olympic Games. Undoubtedly, China’s great achievements and outstanding organisational skills will ensure that it continues to be a major force in international affairs,” he said.

The Bahamas joins the world in congratulating China for its successful bid for the World Exposition in Shanghai in 2010 and “we look forward to participating in its grand international gathering,” Senator Barnett said.

He added that the official opening of The Bahamas’ Embassy in Beijing on Friday, January 21, 2006 underscores that fact that the friendship between both countries continues to grow.

“In the ensuing year, we envision greater progress as we strive to work together to maintain cooperation, peace and friendship,” Senator Barnett said.