China welcomes closer US-Guyana ties, Ramotar says motive of Western nations is anti-China – Demerara Waves Online News – Guyana
Updated on Friday, July 29, 2022, 7:28 p.m. by Denis Chabrol
China on Thursday played down any concerns about renewed US efforts this week to deepen relations with Guyana, amid fears by former Guyana President Donald Ramotar of a hidden Western agenda to displace that Asian countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan said at a town hall meeting marking the 50th anniversary of China-Guyanese diplomatic relations that President Irfaan Ali was paying an “important visit to Washington” and the Chinese and US presidents had previously had a phone conversation. “It’s good to see the diversification of international partners for Guyana,” the Chinese envoy said. Noting that over the past 40 years, China has benefited from capital, technology, equipment and management experience from the United States, Japan, European countries and Russia, she reiterated the importance for Guyana to forge partnerships. “So we fully understand that Guyana also needs partners from all over the world so it is good for Guyana that all these partners contribute to the development of Guyana,” she said during the discussion organized by the Guyana Peace Council which is based at the Cheddi Jagan Research Center. .
But former President Ramotar said it was clear Western countries, unlike China, were not genuinely interested in helping developing countries like those in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. “While I appreciate and am happy that they come on board to help developing countries with infrastructure works and other works, as China is currently doing, what worries me is is the motivation why they are doing it. They are not saying they are doing it to help third world countries; they are doing it to conquer China’s influence in the third world and that motivation for me is not the best motivation and when you start from those premises, I think you can find yourself in all kinds of contradictions and all kinds of struggles,” he said.
Participants included the UK High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller, and the European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Canto.
During President Ali’s visit to the United States this week, Foreign Secretary Hugh Todd and the Managing Director of the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) signed a memorandum of understanding for a 2 billion dollars for Guyana and the Caribbean.
China has financed several infrastructure, health and other projects in Guyana, some through concessional loans.
Asked about China’s relationship with Guyana, Dr Ali told a forum that it was true that the United States had neglected the region for several years. However, he cited the EXIM-Guyana deal as an example of the reset in Caribbean-US relations.
In an apparent reaction to perceptions in some quarters that China’s infrastructure is of poor quality, she said Chinese banks were not lending money for projects without ensuring that structures would be built to required standards. “No bank will lend to a shoddy project, otherwise you can’t get the refund, so banks in China are no exception. Banks will ask for a proper feasibility study and ask a third party to review it for s ensure the sustainability of the project,” she said.
The Chinese ambassador dismissed local and foreign media reports that China is trying to trap developing countries in debt.