In 2007, the Caribbean Association in China was established to support and represent the needs of the Caribbean nationals living in China and to create a platform through which Caribbean nationals could get together and promote the culture of the region in China.
This has been primarily based in Shanghai and was originally started by ten Jamaicans and one Bahamian (the original plan was to start a Jamaican Association). The Jamaicans unanimously decided to postpone the Jamaican Association and instead started the Caribbean Association so as to incorporate the minority group of other Caribbean Nationals residing in the city.
Twelve years later on November 30th 2019, the official Jamaican Association China (JAC) was formed.
The JAC was formed immediately following the November 2019 China International Import Expo where Jamaica was one of five official Honored Country Guests of the PRC and was attended by the Jamaican Prime Minister, The Right Honorable Andrew Holness and his delegation. As a precursor to the Expo, the JAC President, Dr. Nicoleen Johnson was engaged to plan and host a cocktail reception for the Prime Minister and his delegation on this, his first visit to China. The objective was to meet with some of the Jamaicans living in China.
As a result of this event, Jamaicans from various provinces across China made their way to Shanghai to meet with the Prime Minister. It was a revelation in terms of the number of Jamaicans actually living/working/studying in China and the event ignited a spark across the Jamaican community in China to unite. The Prime Minister and his delegation of Ministers also encouraged the Jamaicans to explore ways in which we can partner to continue making even more meaningful contributions to Jamaica’s development and transformation. We all felt it was an opportune time to finally and officially start the JAC.
Currently, there is a wide and diverse cross section of Jamaicans living in China. At the most recent count we have over 600 Jamaicans both professionals and students living in China. At the same time there are several groups interested in deepening the linkages between these Jamaicans residing abroad and those at home both from personal and professional perspectives. Due to the small number Jamaicans and their wide dispersion across China it has been a challenge to provide one platform or structured centralized support for the Jamaicans living in China. In the absence of a central entity providing oversight, both the nationals and those groups interested in Jamaica have oftentimes acted independently of each other, although they have similar objectives.
To this end, one of the priorities of the JAC is to connect and enhance communication and mobilization among Jamaican organizations including the embassy and the government at home and Jamaicans living in China. All Jamaicans in the Diaspora and their supporters are encouraged to become more engaged and to participate in the historic, timely and visionary unleashing of the unbounded potential of the Jamaican community.
The principal goals of the Jamaican Diaspora – China are:
(1) Strengthen the links and support systems between Jamaicans residing in China and those at home;
(2) Deepen the collaboration and cooperation between the stakeholder groups that serve them; and
(3) Facilitate and increase the scope and impact of the contribution of the Diaspora to the development of Jamaicans at home and abroad.
The JAC Exec is primarily based in Shanghai and supported by Province Leaders assigned to groups of Jamaicans located in 20+ provinces across China.
To connect and inspire the Jamaican diaspora in China to utilize their knowledge, skills and experiences to support their fellow Jamaicans while improving and promoting brand Jamaica and in turn contributing to the development of Jamaica.