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Us Embassy Chargé D’Affaires Warns: Choose Help Carefully

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US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers said yesterday leaders should choose “high-quality, transparent, and inclusive foreign investment” and ensure they are getting the best deal for their respective citizens in the long-term.

Her comments came in response to a scathing statement from her counterpart at the Chinese Embassy in Nassau and as Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and other regional leaders will meet with US President Donald Trump at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida today.

According to a White House statement issued earlier this week, President Trump is looking to counter China’s “predatory economic practices” in the region.

On Wednesday, Chinese Chargé d’Affaires Haigang Yin accused the US government of trying to “disintegrate solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries.”

He also slammed the US’ “predatory” label placed on China’s activities in the Caribbean, dismissing it as completely baseless, unreasonable and contradictory to the facts.

In her response yesterday, Ms Bowers said: “Economic engagement should meet international best practices in terms of transparency, debt sustainability and the needs and concerns of local communities.

“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. 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.”

In 2018, the US State Department was warned that an independent study found China’s “debt book diplomacy” uses “strategic debts to gain political leverage with economically vulnerable countries across the Asia-Pacific region,” according to the UK Guardian.

Last year, the British daily reported: “The academic report, from graduate students of the Harvard Kennedy school of policy analysis, was independently prepared for the State Department to view and assessed the impact of China’s strategy on the influence of the US in the region.

“The paper identifies 16 ‘targets’ of China’s tactic of extending hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to countries that can’t afford to pay them, and then strategically leveraging the debt.

“It said while Chinese infrastructure investment in developing countries wasn’t ‘inherently’ against US or global interests, it became problematic when China’s use of its leverage ran counter to US interests, or if the US had strategic interests in a country which had its domestic stability undermined by unsustainable debt,” the UK Guardian reported.

China has financed or invested in developments across the region and around the world.

However, China has asserted that it has, through good cooperation with Caribbean countries under its Belt and Road Initiative, cultivated mutually beneficial outcomes for all sides.

“…China-Caribbean cooperation has created a large number of local jobs and strongly boosted the host country’s development and improved people’s livelihood,” Mr Yin noted on Wednesday.

The most recent comments from the US now stand as the latest swipe in a long-line of jabs between the two global superpowers amid a trade dispute.

The Tribune noted on Wednesday that despite several rounds of negotiations, China and the US have not been able to come to a resolution on how to end the dispute, leaving small developing states dependent on their goods and services caught in the crosshairs.

Many Bahamians across social media have raised concerns with Mr Yin’s comments and what it could mean for bilateral relations with both countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement yesterday, noting Mr Yin’s comments, however it did not address his remarks directly.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken note of the comments attributed to Haigang Yin, charge d’affaires of the Embassy of The People’s Republic China in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, published in today’s Nassau Guardian and The Tribune newspapers.

“The Bahamas enjoys longstanding and excellent diplomatic and trade relations with both the United States and The People’s Republic of China.

“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 statement read in full.

When he meets them today, President Trump is also expected to discuss potential opportunities for energy investment and security cooperation with regional leaders.

“The president looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices. The president will use this meeting as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela. The United States remains a good friend to the Caribbean and seeks to build on a proud legacy as the region’s partner of choice,” the White House noted earlier this week.

Comments

joeblow 1 year, 2 months ago

Our politicians can barely shoot marbles while countries like the US and China play 3 dimensional chess. Ever since the Bahamian government allowed the Chinese purchase of the Hilton (a property so close to the US embassy) and began receiving economic help from China, I have been waiting for the hammer to drop!

Judgment days is here and Trump does not play nice!

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 2 months ago

Bowers needs to get a life. Just like China, the USA will look out for its own interests!
My question is... will anyone in this jokey government look out for The Bahamas and Bahamians? You can't expect foreigners to have our best interest at heart.To do so would be very naive indeed!

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 2 months ago

Fred Mitchell didn't have enough wisdom to post that!
Sorry to disappoint.

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realitycheck242 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks for your response Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers. Let them know that the Bahamas is not to be treated like Taiwan in a stealth way.by using economic might to influence our government policy and decisions. The Bahamas will not go the way of the countries who have signed up for the "Belt and road Initiative" and are now saddle with depth and have to sign over ownership of national assets to china.

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Chucky 1 year, 2 months ago

Your an idiot

A country is only saddled with as much debt as they willingly seek to borrow.

USA is the master of economic terrorism , either through funding or sanctions.

It's the USA we need to fear , lest we want them to help us like they're helping Venezuela, and many others before

Just imagine if they wanted Minnis out, they could place enough sanctions to ensure we can barely import food and fuel, "all in the name of helping us get a better leader"; meanwhile we starve

Ever heard of China doing that, or any other country for that matter?

USA is a nation to fear, not trust.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

No. You are an idiot. You should apply for permanent residency in China. Bring me your paper to countersign. It would be a pleasure.

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Chucky 1 year, 2 months ago

What did I say that was not correct? You are just a fool who spends too much time in USA, you drink their cool aid and buy all their BS. State one country that they have helped other than Israel?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

In her response yesterday, Ms Bowers said: “Economic engagement should meet international best practices in terms of transparency, debt sustainability and the needs and concerns of local communities.

“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. 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.”

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Ms Bowers should bite her tongue. The totally one-sided giveaway by our corrupt government in the recently announced "Disney Deal" is the complete antithesis of everything she states as re-quoted by me in my previous post immediately above.

She, together with all other senior officials in the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas, should be clamoring for a full scale investigation to be launched by the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI into whether egregious violations of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allowed Disney to negotiate such an overwhelmingly one-sided deal that is very much to the detriment of the Bahamian people.

As for Ms Bowers' feigned concerns about our country taking on unsustainable foreign debt, she needs to be reminded that the International Development Bank (IDB), one of our biggest lenders, is for all intents and purposes an international lending agency controlled in large part by the U.S. government. The IDB is a key tool by which the U.S. government enriches the interests of its own constituents (usually U.S. corporations, U.S. consulting firms and super wealthy Americans) while at the same time getting corrupt political leaders in other countries, like the Bahamas, hooked on unsustainable levels of foreign debt.

It's all about getting control of another country by corrupting its all too easily corruptible senior elected officials and encouraging (strong-arming) them to take on unsustainable foreign debt put to their lips by a lending teat (tit') like the IDB. This makes other countries (like the Bahamas) vulnerable to being plundered whereby U.S. interests acquire the key strategic and natural resources of other nations for mere pennies on the dollar. For decades this has been the U.S. modus operandi for getting whatever it wants from other nations like ours.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

True. We can choose to be controlled by the US or China. So you prefer China?

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Chucky 1 year, 2 months ago

Good for you, you hit the nail on the head!

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 2 months ago

At the end of the day, all of this is one big fat WARNING by the US to the Caribbean. They're saying, if you get in bed with red China too deep, don't expect us to protect you with our military (the US is The Bahamas' military, as it has none of its own). Further, if you allow red China to build military bases for its warships and submarines that become a security threat to the US, you and your people will be blown up along with their bases.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Ya got dat right!

But it doesn't hurt to remind the U.S. government from time to time that its own hands are not clean, and that it must do more to protect small nations like our from the predatory practices of its very greedy corporate citizenry like Disney.

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 2 months ago

I blame the distance between the US and The Bahamas more on the poor negotiation skills of our black leaders and "bend or break" attitude they took in the past. Based on our level of trade with and dependence on the US, The Bahamas should have a much better relationship with them. We should be like two peas in a pod; instead, black leaders have continued to perpetuate an anti-white, "Wakonda forever!" fantasy world. If you asked our leaders, many consider Jamaica, Haiti and Africa to be closer allies of ours than the US!

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 2 months ago

The Bahamas is foolish to think it can play both sides. I've heard China is the most racist country, yet black leaders can't get enough of them. The PLP sold out this country to China and betrayed the US by selling them the Hilton. The Pointe looks more like a military fort than a hotel.

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John 1 year, 2 months ago

The bigger picture here is to PUT BAHAMIANS FIRST! You no longer have to give your country away or beg investors to come here. Your country is in demand. What sense in signing investment agreements, like Oban and Disney and oil drilling valued in the Billions of Dollars, when the average Bahamian can’t pay electricity and water bills. Where is the sense in expanding the Bahamian economy with the exclusion of Bahamians? The tariffs Trump imposed on China is now putting billions and billions of dollars in the US treasury. Finally allowing the US to get some leverage on its debt to China. And Trump claims the tariffs may be reduced but will not be removed any time soon. His advice to companies that don’t want to pay the tariffs: move your production to the US. And of course he also lashed out at the WTO who opposed those tariffs, even threatening to pull out of the organization if they don’t get it right. In this country almost 2/3 of all hotel beds will be owned and/or operated by Chinese and most of the rest by foreigners. The same with the cruise ships. And most of the guests in the hotels are foreigners (tourists) as are the passengers on the cruise ships. The tourists numbers are up and the country must now ‘right Fit’ it’s taxing on tourist to pay off the national debt. Disney increased its tickets for cruises as well as the ones to visit Disney world. They did this even while they were making huge profits. The Bahamas must now do the same. For investors and visitors alike. Should no longer be ‘we must pay you to come here. The same also with Us and China. Weigh the benefits.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

You make a very astute point about the growing number of our hotel beds owned and/or otherwise controlled by corporate interests loyal to Red China's foreign policy interests. Is it really already as high as two-thirds (2/3's)? If so, that's a very serious problem for the Bahamas that our successive PLP and FNM governments should never have allowed to happen. As we all know, most of our air arrival visitors (hotel staying tourists) come from the North American market place and the U.S. holds complete sway over Canada. This means that if ever the U.S. decides it's in its national security interests to target Red China's growing influence and economic interests in our country, it would likely do so by simply pull the plug on the ability of North American tourists to visit our country. Now that's a truly frightening thought! Frankly, it's downright foolish of us to let the bricks and mortar of our number one industry be majority owned by Red Chinese interests while the vast majority of our tourists come from the U.S. and Canada. It would be in our own interests to have many more hotel beds owned by U.S. interests (not of the greedy corrupt Disney kind), and much less by Red China. That's just plain common sense!

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joeblow 1 year, 2 months ago

yep, the plantations are now air conditioned and the slaves drive to work in cars or on buses. Many still don't realize they are slaves, sold by their leaders to serve foreign masters!

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank God for Bowers !!! Thank God for Trump !!! Looks like they are both gearing up to drag this country into the 20th century (no don't even dream of 21st). I would be grateful if they could drag us forward to the year 2000. Im tired of 1859.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 2 months ago

....and he is fighting China big time too - awesome. Like Bob Marley say "We gonna chase them crazy bald heads outta town".

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pingmydling 1 year, 2 months ago

Bowers is a Trumpette. Follow the British , burn down the "White House"., preferably with The great satan in it.

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bogart 1 year, 2 months ago

EXCELLENT BOWERS..!!!!! IN TAKING DA ...FOREIGN...LOANS...MUCH CARE MUST CONSIDER......THE BASIC IS TO SURVIVE AN REPAY .....bases on basic total dervicing ratio ...conditions..the percentage based on ablilty to repay FROM YOUR INCOME/EARNINGS...investigations into wastages into govt agencies..publicized...culprits excosed...transparencies...!!!...to your lenders ....likely continue giving you loans...is bad an...internationally downgrated......many included....Looking at a number of loans with different rates..time terms...amounts ..based on future conditions......which if income reduces unforseen...hurricane....climate change....AND.....LOOKING AT THE .....important...LENDER ECONOMIC CONDITION IN THE FUTURE......AND THEIR INABILITY TO....RESCHEDULE....PASTPONE PAYMENTS.....AFFECTS BORROWERyS...FINANCIAL INTERNATIONAL CREDIBILITY....AFFECTING OTHER LIKELY BORROWERS WITH TOUGHER ANALYSIS....HIGHER INTEREST RATES FOR INCREASE RISKS.....LOAN BEING COMMITTED...AFFECTS THE GOVTability to attend to citizens needs..M1..M2...M3....RESERVE ON CURRENCY PARITY...lack of .improvements for pore..schools...roads....MISMANAGEMENT OF countrys finances funding ego centric...projects...huge chinics family islans...no economies of scale...no synergies....still investigations onto govt agencies...govt bank...stills transparencies.....who responsible....who charged..??....YES EFFORTS BY PRESENT GOVT TO TACLKE CORRUPTION.....wastages....EASILY TEMPTED BE SOME ELITES...COHORTS...CRONIES...as seems...is to NOT...NOT...NOT......BORROW...AN...BORROW....AN...BORROW.....strangling SOVEREIGN NATION.....INTO SUBMISSION..AFFECTED....by da ODDER AFFECTED NATIONS......SQUEEZONG TO BETTER CITIZENS....SAME BOAT......AN REPAY LOANS....WID HAITI...more hardships to citizens...den more illegal immigration.here.......Dominican people hardships then more illegal poaching.....so on so forth..... BAHAMIAN saying Grammie says be careful/mindful that yinna sleep in da bed how ya make bed up.. .GOOD STEPHANIE TALK BOWERS....same like Grammie

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