Monday, Aug 26, 2019
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Bahamas should stay out of U.S.-China fight

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell yesterday warned that The Bahamas should not become involved in ongoing tensions between the United States and China.

“There are geopolitical forces at work in the world where there are tensions… between the second largest economy in the world, which is the People’s Republic of China, which is about $12 trillion and the United States of America on the other hand, which is the first economy in the world which is about $20 trillion,” Mitchell said.

“They are trying to sort out what their relationship is going to be going forward.

“And there is an old expression, you know, ‘when the elephants fight the ants get trampled’.

“So we are not in that fight.”

Mitchell’s comments came days after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier said the Caribbean is a strategic priority for the U.S., and cautioned representatives from Caribbean counties to be wary of Chinese investments and increased Russian involvement in the region.

Breier made the comments at the eighth Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue at the U.S. Department of State on Thursday.

Mitchell also addressed a recent video from One America News Network that made the rounds on social media last week that warned of China’s influence in The Bahamas.

He said the news network is not credible and that he disagreed with the sentiments expressed in the video.

“As a general proposition, The Bahamas is firmly within the trade and political ambit of the United States of America,” Mitchell said.

“We’re joined at the hip. Geography dictates that and I don’t think there’s evidence that the Chinese are trying to do anything.

“In fact, they couldn’t do anything about the geography even if they wanted to. The fact is that is our geography.”

He added, “So far what we’ve seen is commercial investments, and so far what we know is the people who have been lending the money and investing the money have a different race than we are. And as I said, you have to be very careful how these buzzwords are being used.

“The question is whether it has damaged the economy.

“I think you take note of what everybody has to say, but you have to keep your rational mind in the greater interest of our country.”

He added, “Try as people might to draw us into that fight, I think we ought to resist that.

“The fact is we have, during our time, had excellent relations with both the People’s Republic of China and with the United States of America.

“There is no evidence, as far as we can tell, of any hegemonic designs by the People’s Republic of China on The Bahamas or a security threat to the United States, and from the U.S. side, as I said, The Bahamas remains firm within its geopolitical ambit.”

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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