The following is the statement from the Office of the Prime Minister - The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, today announced that the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, will pay a State visit to Trinidad and Tobago during the period May 31 to June 2, 2013. The Chinese President will be accompanied by his wife, Her Excellency Peng Liyuan. The visit of the Chinese President will follow closely on the heels of the Vice-President of the United States, Mr Joe Biden, who will pay an official visit to this country during the period May 27 to May 28, 2013. According to Mrs Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago and the People’s Republic of China have enjoyed diplomatic relations for the past 39 years. She noted there is a strong Chinese presence in Trinidad and Tobago, namely in the areas of culture and trade as evidenced by the growing recognition of the Chinese New Year by citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and the numerous businesses being opened across the country. Mrs Persad-Bissessar further added that trade links by citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are already established, with business owners from Trinidad and Tobago frequenting the People’s Republic of China, to purchase goods. The Prime Minister also stated that nationals of the People’s Republic of China, have been working in this country for a number of years, particularly in the construction industry, and are currently engaged in the construction of the Couva Children’s Hospital, UWI South Campus, Debe and a Confucius Institution. In his letter of invitation, His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, S.C., President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, noted the shared history of the two countries that dates back to the 19th Century, long before the formal establishment of diplomatic relations on June 20, 1974. This visit is of particular historical significance as it will be the first visit of a President of the People’s Republic of China to the English-speaking Caribbean. Relations between the two countries have been shaped by mutual interest and goodwill and enhanced by the exchange of political, economic and cultural visits. The relationship between the two countries has been cemented by joint action in the United Nations system and the Group of 77 based on the principles of mutual respect and South-South cooperation. Apart from the multilateral framework, Trinidad and Tobago’s bilateral agenda with China has been expanding. President Xi assumed office as the Head of State of the People’s Republic of China at the Twelfth National People’s Congress in March of this year, succeeding His Excellency Hu Jintao. He also holds the office of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. As General Secretary, he is also an ex-officio member of the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee. President Xi is from the fifth generation of leadership of the People's Republic. His policies include market economic reforms, an open approach to governance, and a comprehensive national renewal under the neologism "Chinese Dream". Their Excellencies will also pay a State visit to the Republic of Costa Rica and the United Mexican States after departing Trinidad and Tobago. In recent years, the People’s Republic of China has greatly expanded its political and economic outreach to Latin America and the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago has consistently remained an adherent to the One China Policy since it recognised and supportedthe restoration of China’s legitimate rights in the United Nations during the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1971. Trinidad and Tobago has noted the rapid rise of China on the world stage and hopes that President Xi’s visit will foster greater cooperation with China in the context of advancing mutually strategic developmental goals.