The bilateral conference between the Guyana Defense Force and the People’s Liberation Army of China began Tuesday, Aug. 19, with the signing of a military aid agreement totaling approximately US $4.8 million.
In his remarks at the ceremony held at the Guyana International Conference Center in Liliendaal, Chief of Staff, Brig. Mark Phillips said that since the 1970s China and the PLA have provided military assistance to the GDF.
“We remain heartened and greatly appreciative to you for the continued military assistance as we work collectively towards the strengthening of our mutual relationships between our two nations and our military forces,” Phillips said.
To date, many of GDF officers have benefited tactical, operational and strategic levels of training in China. In fact, almost all of the present senior leadership have attended military training courses and or seminars in that country.
The Chinese military delegation was headed by Major General Kong Li. The Guyana delegation consisted of Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Khemraj Persaud; Inspector General Col. George Lewis; Lt. Col. Patrick West; Cdr. Gary Beaton from the Guyana Coast Guard; Maj. Courtney Bourne; and Commanding Officer, Guyana Air Corps, Maj. Delbert George.
The governments of the People’s Republic of China and Guyana share a dynamic relationship that encompasses active cooperation in a wide spectrum for over 40 years.
Moreover, Guyana was one of the developing countries that voted to admit the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations in October 1971, and continues to support the one-China policy.