Chinese ambassador says not enough Bahamians are utilizing scholarships to China

Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Dai Qingli said yesterday that not enough Bahamians are utilizing scholarships to China.

“I must say Chinese scholarship opportunities have been really underused in The Bahamas because many people, they don’t even know,” Qingli said.

“They don’t know. They want to. Sometimes either they don’t know or they get the word very late so they cannot plan or whatever.”

She said the embassy prioritizes Chinese-Bahamian educational links.

Qingli said 158 young Bahamians have utilized the scholarship in recent years.

She said many more studied in China while being self-funded.

“Indeed, as you said, the past few years of the pandemic has disrupted these study schemes,” Qingli said.

“I know Bahamian young people who are not able to go to China at all and who took all their lessons, their classes online. Now, we are trying to change this situation.

“Now, there are only nine Bahamians in China studying. Now, with the easing of the pandemic situation, study visas are now open. Actually, we have reached out to those students and encouraged them to go back to China. We are now succeeding with one or two.”

Qingli said the embassy is helping with visa applications and school registrations.

The ambassador spoke after Chinese President Jinping Xi was reelected as the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

She said Xi’s re-election will inject “fresh vitality” into China-Caribbean relations.

“We can hope for even a better future for China-Caribbean relations as a whole,” Qingli said,

She said she is not aware of any major Chinese investments coming on stream in The Bahamas soon.

“In recent years, we have fewer Chinese companies coming to The Bahamas,” Qingli said.

“Now in a post-COVID time, some companies did make inquiries and some are following the projects announced by the government. You know the government announced a range of PPP (public-private partnership) projects. Some Chinese companies have told us they’re really interested in these projects.”

She said Chinese companies have shown “a lot” of interest in the Bahamian market.

Qingli pointed to China Construction America and Hutchison Whampoa – which both have major developments in The Bahamas.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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