Monday, June 3, 2013

US$3B concession financing for CARICOM; four states left out

President Xi and his wife wave goodbye to T&T Sunday evening
Chinese President Xi Jinping say goodbye to Trinidad and Tobago Sunday as he headed for Costa Rica following a highly successful three -day state visit.

On Sunday Xi held discussions with Caribbean Community (Caricom) states that support the People’s Republic of China’s One China policy, including Trinidad and Tobago. And he announced that Beijing would provide US$3 billion in concessional loans to the countries.

The beneficiaries are Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname, Montserrat, Guyana, Barbados, The Bahamas, Grenada, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, stated that support the One China policy.

However Belize, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis have been left out because they have relations with Taiwan, which is considered a breakaway Chinese state and is not recognised by either China or the United Nations.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters about the financial assistance that Xi has offered. 

“President Jinping announced at the luncheon he will be contributing US$3 billion in concessional financing for the Caricom region, so we indeed thank him for that very generous gesture. 

"US$3 billion for infrastructure projects—US$1.5 billion, and another US$1.5 billion for other kinds of development projects in the region,” Persad-Bissessar said.She explained that the concessional financing would be limited to States that support the One China policy.

“And that is as it should be. You would have seen that those countries that do not support the One China policy were not invited by His Excellency for the meetings, for the bi-late­rals today, and I have no difficulty with that in principle because Trinidad and Tobago has always supported the One China poli­cy, as several other countries,” Persad-Bissessar said.

China’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Huang Xingyuan, advised that Beijing may increase the funding at a later date.

“One thing I would like to emphasise here is that the people of China will never forget their old friends, especially those friends that supported us at the crucial moments of history,” he said through an interpreter.

Caricom Heads of Government met individually with Xi before attending a farewell luncheon. Those who met with Xi are:
  • President Donald Ramotar (Guyana)
  • President, Desi Bouterse (Suriname)
  • PM Portia Simpson-Miller (Jamaica)
  • PM Dr Keith Mitchell (Grenada)
  • PM Roosevelt Skerrit (Dominica)
  • PM Perry Christie (The Bahamas)
T&T's PM held bilaterals with the Chinese leader earlier in the week at which China offered US$250 million in funding for the Couva Children's hospital and other projects. Both sides also signed cooperation MOUs. Xi invited Persad-Bissessar to visit China and she said he expects to make the visit in November.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai