Gov’t clarifies China comments

Gov’t clarifies China comments
Consul General in Miami Linda Treco-Mackey

MOFA says Bahamian diplomat taken out of context

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a clarification after a Bahamian diplomat alleged Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis made a commitment to the US to keep China’s influence out of the country.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Consulate General in Miami Linda Mackey said Minnis pledged to keep China’s influence out of the Bahamas when he met with President Donald Trump earlier this year.

Mackey further underscored China will not be a part of reconstruction efforts in the wake of deadly Hurricane Dorian, the newspaper reported.

However, in a statement released on Sunday, MOFA claims Mackey’s comments were taken out of context.

“The Government has extensively reported on its plans to address the housing challenges in Abaco,” the MOFA statement read.

“The People’s Republic of China like several other countries immediately and readily provided assistance in the aftermath of Dorian.

“The Bahamas continues to enjoy good relations with the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.

The statement added: “The Government of The Bahamas is grateful for the support and generous assistance from all members of the international community who demonstrated solidarity with The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.”

The meeting with Trump and Caribbean leaders In March was billed as an effort to strengthen security cooperation and counter China’s “predatory economic practices” in a White House statement.

The White House statement prompted a response from the Chinese Embassy in Nassau, which branded the accusations “irresponsible” and an attempt to disintegrate China’s solidarity with other developing countries.

Minnis traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida along with leaders from the Dominican Republic, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia.

According to the South Florida daily, Mackey said the only foreign workers approved to enter the country are from Mexico, adding she will propose allowing international workers to help repair apartment units in Freeport.

She also estimated 200 Bahamian evacuees were living in Palm Beach County, according to the newspaper.