China & Dominican Republic formal ties celebrated by Caribbean nation

World Today

Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands after they signed the joint communique at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

On May 1, China and the Dominican Republic announced the establishment of formal diplomatic ties. The arrangement ushers in a new era of opportunities for these two nations.

No one knows for sure how many Chinese-Dominicans live in the Dominican Republic, though some estimates say there are close to 50,000.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.

Early this month, there was cause to celebrate, as the Dominican Republic broke ties with Taiwan and officially established diplomatic relations with Chinese mainland. Members of the Chinese community in the Caribbean nation applauded the move. They just wish it would have happened sooner.

Robert Ng is a motel owner who was brought to Dominican Republic when he was only a child said.

“I am so proud, especially for us: We the Chinese,” he said.

He also looks forward to the economic benefits these new developments can bring to the Dominican Republic. “China is investing a lot of money in many countries, in transportation, in manufacturing. I think they will come here and do the same, invest in our infrastructure and roads,” Ng said.

The community’s enclave is in Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital. Clara Joa is one of the leaders of the Dominican Chinatown, and a former Vice Minister of Education in the Caribbean nation. She also shares the enthusiasm, and wishes her father would have been alive to see this moment. “I’m happy, we actually saw this process coming. It was not done before, because diplomatic relations take time,” she expressed.

The majority of their ancestors came from the city of Enping, in the southwest part of the Guandong province, starting early in the 1900s. By 1932, the nations were friendly. Even before the relationship was official, trade between the two was strong. Current, common investments add up to more than $2 billion.

Miguel Feng, the Liaison Official between the Chinese community and the Dominican government, told CGTN that they feel more secure.

“We have more legal guarantees and our investments are protected,” he said.

More Chinese investments are in the works. Dominican President Danilo Medina will soon travel to China to announce mutual agreements and his vision of how this relationship may unfold.

Fu Xinrong discusses the Dominican Republic establishing diplomatic relations with China

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez spoke to China’s highest ranking official in the Dominican Republic Fu Xinrong about the news, expectations and reactions surrounding the decision to establish diplomatic relations with China, cutting all ties with Taiwan.