China yesterday called on the U.S. government to contribute more to Caribbean and Latin American countries rather than “indiscriminately pinning labels on others” and “politicizing the economic and trade issues”.
Last week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier accused China of enabling corruption, eroding good governance and stealing countries’ sovereignty and natural resources.
In the wake of Breier’s comments, Haigang Yin, the spokesman for the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, said yesterday, “China is committed to mutual respect of sovereignty, equality, mutual benefit and other basic principles of international law as reflected in our constitution and relevant laws.”
Yin added, “We hope that certain people from the United States can respect the fact and the will of the Latin American countries, view China’s cooperation with the Latin American countries in an objective way and contribute more to the development of Latin American countries instead of indiscriminately pinning labels on others.”
He said the Chinese government has been asking Chinese companies to “strictly abide” by local laws and regulations when doing business overseas, asserting that “this position will not change”.
The embassy spokesman said that China-Caribbean relations have led to increased local employment, the strong “[boost of] the host country’s development and improved people’s livelihood”.
“China’s economic cooperation and trade with the Latin American and Caribbean countries is equal-footed, sincere and mutually beneficial,” Yin said.
“Our cooperation follows the principle of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results and does not target any third party. China never capitalizes on geopolitics, seeks an exclusive club, forces others to buy or sell condescendingly or frequently threatens other countries with a trade war.
“The facts have proven that our cooperation meets the common interests and expectations of the two sides and focuses on common development and the outcomes are mutually beneficial.”
Breier also claimed that China uses the Confucius Institute to spread “Chinese communist party propaganda throughout the region”.
Yin defended the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, asserting that they are “legal and legitimate as well as open and transparent”.
“All the Confucius Institutes in the Caribbean region are jointly established in local universities in line with the principle of mutual respect, friendly consultation, equality and mutual benefit by the Chinese and Caribbean universities,” he said.
Yin added, “Certain politicians in the U.S. now try to politicize the Confucius Institutes, a program for normal cultural and educational exchange. We hope those people can put in perspective the important role the Confucius Institutes play in promoting mutual understanding between the Chinese and the Caribbean peoples, and take into consideration the needs of the Caribbean people, including students, teachers and parents, to learn the Chinese language and get a better understanding of the Chinese culture, instead of arbitrarily politicizing the exchange and the Confucius Institutes.”
In March, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis met with U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the lead up to the 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”.
However, Minnis dismissed concerns that the United States was pressuring The Bahamas to change its relationship with China.
“… I pointed out very clearly that China and The Bahamas are allies with a good working relationship, and that will not change,” the prime minister said.