PM Gaston Browne

 

ST JOHN’S (CMC): The Antigua and Barbuda government has welcomed the investments and financial aid being provided by China as it reiterated its foreign relations policy of maintaining “strong diplomatic and friendly relations” with a number of developed and developing countries.

“I express on behalf of our government and our people, our gratitude to those countries that have contributed, through loans, grants and technical assistance, to our economic and social advancement. Among these countries are the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Cuba, Japan, the Russian Federation, Venezuela, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Republic of Korea, India, New Zealand, the United States,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.

“I am honour-bound to thank especially the People’s Republic of China because of its responsiveness to our needs, and the extent of its contribution to almost all sectors of our economy and social development,” Browne said, noting the magnitude of the PRC support to Antigua and Barbuda.

“The hundreds of millions of dollars provided by China in grants, technical assistance, and concessional loans, have supported infrastructure, education, agriculture, healthcare, energy, national security, housing, sports and community development projects.”

Earlier this week, the United States urged Caribbean countries to be wary of accepting “easy money from countries like China” as Washington sought to improve its decades’ old relationship with the region.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo addressing a policy discussion on US-Caribbean relations in Jamaica, acknowledged that the North American giant had been absent from the Caribbean for a long period.