The Caribbean’s newest and largest Confucius Institute, which was built by the People’s Republic of China at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in St Andrew, was officially handed over to the Jamaican Government on Monday.
The facility, which was constructed at a cost of US$5 million and is situated at the former Personnel Office on the UWI’s Mona campus, will replace an existing centre located along Gibraltar Road that was launched in 2009.
It includes classrooms, administrative offices, a library, a lecture theatre, exhibition area, small conference rooms, patio, tea break area, a generator room and security facilities.
In acknowledging the long-standing partnership between Jamaica and China, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, who spoke at the handover ceremony, urged Jamaicans not to forget the bond between both countries
In his remarks, China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi, said that the new building “is a gift from the Chinese Government and the people to the Government and the people of Jamaica”.
“I really hope that my colleagues in the Institute and the University will make full use of this perfect building and to [transform] it into a new bridge of friendship between the Chinese people and the Jamaican people, and a new platform of the cultural exchanges between the two countries,” he stated.