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China donates US$2.5m for Barbuda hurricane relief

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, second left, with Premier Li Keqiang during a 2014 visit to the People’s Republic of China.
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The Gaston Browne administration in Antigua and Barbuda says China has donated US$2.5 million to support the Antigua and Barbuda government’s efforts to rebuild Barbuda, which was decimated by Hurricane Irma a few weeks ago.

Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, in a letter to Browne, said that he was “shocked to learn” that Hurricane Irma ravaged Barbuda, causing death and destruction.

“On behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, I would like to extend my profound condolences and sincere sympathy to those who were injured and those who lost a relative and property during the natural tragedy,” said Li in the letter.

In making the donation, the Chinese government said that it will “stand side by side with the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda during this difficult period,” according to Antigua and Barbuda government statement.

It said the Chinese government also announced that it has cancelled the annual National Day celebrations in Antigua, and will donate the US$50,000 earmarked for the celebrations towards the Barbuda relief effort.

Browne said that the People’s Republic of China has “once again proven that it is a true friend of Antigua and Barbuda and during this time of need has come to the assistance of the government in the daunting task of rebuilding Barbuda into a bigger and better island,” according to the statement.

“China has stood side by side with Antigua and Barbuda since our nations established diplomatic relations in 1983, and no other country has contributed more to the infrastructural, social and economic development of our twin-island state,” Browne said.

“We thank the government and people of the People’s Republic of China for this significant donation towards the rebuilding effort in Barbuda,” he added.

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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