The Bahamas is under no pressure from the United States to change its relationship with China, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said on Saturday.
Minnis joined four other Caribbean leaders for a multilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida.
During a press conference following the trip, Minnis said, “The issue with China came up during one of the early meetings…
“… I pointed out very clearly that China and The Bahamas are allies with a good working relationship, and that will not change.”
When asked if The Bahamas is under any pressure from the United States to change its relationship with China, the prime minister said, “Absolutely none. Zero.”
He said “there was no such discussion” about the United States increasing its investments in The Bahamas in an attempt to deter Chinese investment.
Last week, in a statement addressing that meeting, the White House Office of the Press Secretary said Trump looked forward to working with The Bahamas and other 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.”
On Thursday, U.S. Embassy in Nassau Charge d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers encouraged leaders to be wary of 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.
The Bahamas maintains good relationships with both the U.S. and China and hosts embassies for both countries.