Following a fiery statement from the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, U.S. Embassy in Nassau Charge d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers yesterday encouraged leaders to be weary with whom they get into business with.
“We encourage all leaders to choose high-quality, transparent, and inclusive foreign investment, and we want to ensure development financing does not result in unsustainable debt,” Bowers said.
“When evaluating types of partnerships and investment relationships, leaders must ensure they are getting the best deal for their country and their people over the long term.”
She added: “Economic engagement should meet international best practices in terms of transparency, debt sustainability, and the needs and concerns of local communities.”
Bowers’ comments come as Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis prepares to join the leaders of Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic and St. Lucia in a multilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump today in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier this week, in a statement addressing the meeting, the White House Office of the Press Secretary said the U.S. president “looks forward” to working with Caribbean countries to “counter China’s predatory economic practices”.
On Wednesday, Haigang Yin, the charge d’affaires of the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, fired back at the United States, accusing it of attempting to “disintegrate solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries”.
“The accusations of predatory economic practices are completely baseless, unreasonable and contradictory to the facts,” he said.
Yin added: “Facing the fabricated lies and irresponsible accusations, we have faith in the people of The Bahamas with whom rests the final judgment. We are confident that the Bahamian people and government will not be misled by others.”
The Bahamas maintains good relationships with both the U.S. and China and hosts embassies for both countries.
China assisted the Christie administration with the completion of the Baha Mar resort. It also granted The Bahamas with the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium which is used for international and national sporting events.
Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar has said that up to 80 percent of foreign visitors to The Bahamas come from the United States.
In a statement released yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that The Bahamas has “longstanding and excellent diplomatic and trade relations” with both countries.
“Diplomatic relations were established with the United States in 1973 and with The People’s Republic of China in 1997, and the government of The Bahamas fully anticipates that it will continue to enjoy cordial and productive relations with both countries in the future,” the ministry said.