Antigua & Barbuda Government Responds To Newsweek Reporting On Relations With China

(240124) -- BEIJING, Jan. 24, 2024 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne lays a wreath at the Monument to the People's Heroes on the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 24, 2024. (Xinhua/Liu Bin)

19 April 2024

Newsweek Magazine

Dear Editor,

Your recent article about the relations between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China seems to reflect the thinking of a bygone age. Antigua and Barbuda is a modern country barely forty years independent and sovereign.

China has a civilization that reaches back five thousand years. Antigua and Barbuda continues to seek friends among all the nations of the world and rejects the notion that it is in any country’s “backyard”.

China has proven to be a reliable developmental partner and a good friend to many small and large states around the globe.

The rivalry between China and the United States shall not be deemed a replay of Cold War practices.

Antigua and Barbuda is also a great friend of the United States. Our soldiers are trained by SouthCom, our security is bolstered by U.S. Coast Guard and other branches of the U.S. military, and our number one trading partner is the United States.

This journalistic tendency to harp backwards on a Cold War paradigm is hurtful to the people of Antigua and Barbuda, as we turn to making friends that will respond to the needs of a small island-State like ours.

There was a time when the USA was exceedingly generous and helpful in engineering a sustainable future for its friendly neighbors in the Caribbean; its diplomats complain bitterly and publicly that the US Congress deprives the State Department of the resources needed to continue to win friends and influence leaders.

We completely reject your characterization of the friendship between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China as being somehow sinister and dangerous to the United States and its interests.

Our hope is that your readers will not be afflicted with the same harmful disease that plagued US/USSR relations and citizens of both States prior to 1989.

Our leaders are smart, have access to the same information as many of yours, and certainly are more clever that the journalists who deliberately choose to mischaracterize the foreign relations of friendly States.

Ambassador Lionel Hurst Chief of Staff Office of the Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda 

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  1. I read their article and was very concerned about the interpretation the reading public would have. I find sometimes journalists write just for attention and not for edification of the readers. They impute negativity in the minds of people and tries to cause division. The small islands depends on the larger countries for financial and other support as they are way advanced than the small islands so diplomatically we must be neutral in handling decisions based on our relationship with them.

  2. AMBASSADOR LIENOHELL,you are in the findings too. The State Department already knows that you are the Joseph Goebbels of the lawless ALP Government ao keep on apologizing. We might not know of all you wheelings and dealings but now but the books will eventually be opened on you.

  3. Good response Mr. Hurst. I hope you all don’t bend to American pressure considering you all want that US embassy.

    • Point is a crime ridden slum; already owned by China.
      So keep your trap shut before the Chinese hurl you off to the basement for rendition.

    • Your comments say you more easily persuaded, and less prone to critical thinking and seeing through the smoke and mirrors of the ALBP

      You end up with a diet only of what’s offered in the daily menu of digging the disenfranchised and poor into a perpetual state of poverty; while the elites of Nepo Babies and cleptos drink cheap wine and fancy cars at your expense.

  4. It is only a matter of time for this A.L.P. cabal.

    I hope that what will emerge after this mess that this idiot have created for us, will be able to let our great ancestors Rest In Peace, as they would have sacrificed for this country and this idiot have ruined it.

  5. Instead of these negative comments, why you’ll do not go and invest in some Gold? right now China accumulate the most gold in the world and are still accumulating.

    It will not be surprised in October at the BRICS conference they announce a new currency for the BRICS nations to trade with, that is backed by a basket of commodities which include gold and oil etc.

    What we have now is back by the western colonial super power Governments agreements, sanctions and lectures.

  6. John F Kennedy was sleeping when the Soviet Union put missiles in Cuba.
    One does not envy them economically but they have clinched to their ideology of Cuba for Cubans only. Look where they are now?

    Aristide was kidnapped at flown to Africa in the middle of the night, he is back in Haiti, but look at Haiti now.

    When the US wakes up fully take notice of Antigua and what the Chinese are up too, all the crumb snatchers will be scratching their heads snd heading for the exit.

    Should the Newsweek article get to Trumps attention; Gaston will have surely put Antigua on the map.

  7. Those in government should understand China dose everything to benefit China. China has taken over ports around the world, from those who has default on loan payments.
    Our small island state should never be in a position to add fuel to the US & China rivalry.

    on another note, Apua need to come fix the pipe burst in ottos 35 Baldwin street, it has been flowing heavily since yesterday morning. Today is a new day. Do we really have water issues in this place. APUA NOT COMING TO FIX THIS PIPE………WAITING TO SEE IF ANOTHER DAY WILL PASSSSSSSSSSS……

  8. It took a foreign journalist to cover the twists and turns these historic moments.
    A hard-hitting investigation, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can’t find among Caribbean publications.
    Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility that was not taught at UWI; neither does the political class wish to have it.

    Poverty mediocrity and disparity are the order of the day.

  9. Comparing Mr. Hurst to Nazi Germany’s Poison Dwarf is a bit extreme, and as dire as things presently are in this twin island state thank God it has not come to that.

    My present concern is why my grandchild is being taught Mandarin, which is mandatory, as a foreign language. I am all for students being taught a foreign language especially since being bilingual will be an asset in their future endeavors, however, why are we are not teaching the future generation any languages from the Mother Land of our slave ancestors, not even a simple greeting.

    Mr. Hurst’s days of being a revolutionary have long passed and he is but a mere pawn in a game which is beyond him. I share this link once again as it relates to China’s EV automobiles, since certain powers that be wish to give the impression we will not be receiving a pig in a poke.

  10. I think Antigua being a small island nation is between a rock and a hard place. No resources to speak of, being dumped on with US processed and chemically laden products, no specialist hospital for the ordinary people and no resources in the ground to barter with; must know how to win Friends and influence people; because Tourism is just not enough. Dilemma!

  11. All these comments are just confirming what I am am saying about the western superpower Governments, all they do is give us lectures and sanctions for their own interest, and have you’ll scared of sanctions because China is giving us developments for their interest, go figure.

    • @Geopolitical issues affect our lives in more ways than one…

      Specifically speaking, and please be ‘specific’; besides, the Online Gaming & Gambling dispute, between Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA; again, please be specific, what sanctions(outside of bringing some semblance to our offshore banking industry; I know, the Regulatory Argument, which China will still be doing), what sanctions, sanctions, have the USA placed upon Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA over the past SEVENTY FIVE(75) years?

      Did they stop Americans from traveling to our nation as tourist? Outside of the COVID-19 fiasco!

      Did they stop Americans from investing in the HOTELS and other such businesses which helped to establish Our Tourism Industry?

      Did they stop Antiguans or Barbudans from obtaining visas or other documentation from travelling to, residing or living in America?

      Regardless, of how many of Us, as BLACKS are disrespected, maligned or mistreated in America, and not just by WHITE PEOPLE, but others of darker HUES as well, AMERICA has being a saviour, in more ways, than one.
      Many of us, and our families were given the opportunity to become better educated, even if, it was to understand, the intricacies of their prejudices.
      England did not open her doors so readily, even though we were part of their Empire which helped to replenish their empty coffers!

      Any Antiguan or Barbudan who’ll tell you, that based upon their reasearch of HUEmans HISTORY, the DEVIL you know is better, than the DEVIL you don’t know!

      Yes, BRICS+ will be a monetary system to be reckoned with, but it’s not going to be a #cake_walk over what the FEDERAL RESERVE, the IMF, UN, EURO UNION have in place.

      If, for some odd reason several of AMERICAS BILLIONAIRES decide to drop several BILLIONS of dollars, into our Beloved Nation, over night, CHINA would call into question ALL OF THE LOANS & ASSISTANCE which was given to our Nation.

      Again, what sanctions have the USA placed upon our Nation, outside of the INTERNET GAMING DISPUTE?

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

      • @Ras.

        Speak my brother, speak.
        Whenever you speak, you bring facts to the table my brother,and not just some fictional conspiracy theories that so many are so easily prone to.

        China is definitely the devil we do not know.. backing the US over China any day, is a hill I’m willing to die on any day if given the choice between the two.

        • Hail Islanman26…ah wah ah guarne?

          This debate, as to which conglomerate of Nations, be they the Eastern Block, the Western alliance, BRICS+, OUR main concern in Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA is TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY, when it comes to dealing with the public assets; and both political parties have being found #WANTED!

          It’s the loans and grants which are poorly managed, MUST be our major concern. Since, Quasi Independent Nations like Ours, which have being left out in the cold by the British, must garner funding wherever they can find it; from, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, America, Canada, Germany(think CIP), to develop and advance the Nation.

          Both the UPP and the ALP/ABLP have allowed the Chinese to set up their Base Camp in Antigua with little, to no opposition.

          While Gaston and his present regime have been found to be slack with China, there were several major projects(the 100% cost overrun on the VC BIRD Airport expansion, the YIDA and Datp Tan fiasco and of course the WPP – Wadadli Power Plant. While, I’m not privy to the information, I’m sure, that the People’s monies are still serving those loans and getting nothing from YIDA.

          There’s enough blame to go around, and who gets the Lion’s Share of BLAME, is questionable, since, the UPP took China’s TRINKETS too.

          This is what the People MUST rise up against, because it’s pointless and useless, to even get into the WARS OF THE OLIGARCHS! We will be pawns for their armies, just like we’ve being from the days of Horacio Nelson.
          It’s time to stop being #pawns!

          Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
          De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

          Vere C. Edwards

  12. All these comments are just confirming what I am am saying about the western superpower Governments, all they do is give us lectures and sanctions for their own interest, and have you’ll scared of sanctions because China is giving us developments for their interest, go figure.

    • The issue is not about China helping with development. The problem is the free trade zone that Gaston is allowing in Antigua and never discussed in parliament or told the country about. Is Gaston and some of his comrades involved in this free trade zone? The secrecy surrounding the investors and the lack of Antigua control should be of concern to all Antiguans as this deal could put Antigua and the lives of Antiguans at risk. Who stands to gain from this free trade zone in addition to the Chinese?

  13. Both China and America have major atrocities, against #HUEmanity. We can add several, if not all European Nations to the list; and, as we are all aware, especially those of wise minds…
    …to BEWARE is to be aware!

    In the BRITISH Territories which got their QUASI INDEPENDENCE from Britain and of course Haiti from FRANCE, and Cuba from SPAIN & AMERICA are the Nations which have suffered and are still suffering, from the lack of FUNDING to build such things as Schools, Universities, Infrastructure and of course, private/public partnerships, to maintain and advance what we’re laid as FOOTING for good Governance, of an INDEPENDENT REGION(notice, I did not say INDEPENDENT NATION).

    Continuing, in the #aware state of thinking, the majority of the islands which are left in the CARIBBEAN REGION, those under the French(Martinique & Guadeloupe), the USA(the USVI), the BRITISH(Montserrat, Bahamas, BVI) are not plagued or suffering from, lack of FUNDING or when it’s do given it’s paltry and, tend to get squandered.

    The rest of the Islands which are left in the CARIBBEAN REGION, those like Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Puerto Rico and Jamaica(needs a category for itself), but these Islands have what the others such as ANTIGUA, BARBUDA & REDONDA, DOMINICA, St. KITTS, don’t have and that is NATURAL RESOURCES which they can then trade for loans, sell through manufacturing etc.

    To keep up with the #JONESES, and be competitive in the HUEman world, these QUASI INDEPENDENT ISLANDS, must utilize their HUEman Resources(cheap labour), and their Natural beauty through Nature’s FLORA & FAUNA, to generate much needed revenue to build and maintain their economies. TOURISM, of course is the main industry which these quasi nations depend on and fight tooth and nail over.
    Of course, the first set of major investors in this INDUSTRY from the late 1940’s made sure, their profits were kept close to their bosoms, and left very little of their PROFITS, to build such things as, again the EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE and Good Private/Public Partnerships powering good governance.

    As to what CHINA is doing in places like Antigua(its Caribbean Trojan Horse), should not surprise, not even the EUROPEANS much less, the AMERICANS or NATO and the UN , so, let’s be honest.
    CHINA is simply taking advantage, of the mistakes made by those same EUROPEANS and AMERICANS,
    and quasi independent nations like Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, are caught in between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place,’ as PAWNS in this GLOBAL ADJUSTMENT of HUEmanity. Some call them #WARS!

    At this juncture, ANTIGUA & DE_ANTIGUANS, listen up!

    Kaiso Thyme…

    …u nah haffu jump up!
    …but, jus LISTEN UP! Listen up!
    …listen up! Listen up!

    …it’s a #WAR you’re fighting!
    …one which you cannot win!
    …a war; which you can only survive in!
    …and, it’s way beyond, the Theory of Darwin!
    …so relatively speaking!
    …this is why our politicians, gotta STOP! Stop “trying a ting!”
    …’cause, after the Chinese romancing!
    … treating you like, #Do_Do_Darling!
    …the Church bells, done ring!
    …the choir done sing!
    …the preachers sermon is ending!
    …now, he’s asking for the #Ring!
    …it’s such a beautiful #wedding!
    …now, you’re 🇦🇬🇨🇳off to your #honeymoon!
    ..,and, before the following day, at noon!
    …there’s fighting, in the Master bedroom!
    …so, Antigua; now China’s latest WIFE!
    …is crying! Somebody! Anybody!
    …Please come and save my life!
    ..,I’m still young and sexy!
    …With unimaginable beauty!
    …I can’t take no more, of China’s #stress_n_strife!

    Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
    De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

  14. An interview was done by Time Magazine with Gaston Browne.It should have been a recoded interview then printed.So that there would be no distortions and or added words.There are two things Gaston Browne loves best,attention and money.He has no love for others.For in order to love others,you must first love yourself.There is nothing wrong in being friendly with China.My caution to you.Be careful and curtail the amount of loans you get from China or anywhere else.For failures at anytime to repaid such loans.Could have serious consequences to the people of Antigua and Barbuda.For those projects would be owned by those who gave the Nation said loans.

  15. @ Ras smood you have named one sanction that the western colonizers superpower had put on Antigua and Barbuda, however, we where threatened with many more.

    Now you name one sanction China had put on Antigua and Barbuda thus far? how many Antiguans became millionaires from those visitors that come to Antigua and Barbuda?

    Most of the finances from visitors goes right back to the super power nations, if it takes China developing Antigua and Barbuda for those millions in these countries to drop millions in Antigua and Barbuda, then so be it.

    • @GeopoliticL issues…😎come better than that! You know, the WTO Ruling in favour, of Our Nation, against the USA regarding the ONLINE Gaming dispute is not a #sanction! The USA is simply, not obeying, the COURT ORDER.
      As, a matter of fact, and I stand corrected, the same World Court granted Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, to go after American Intellectual Property, to collect some of what is owed to Our Nation.
      Of course, wisdom prevails, as Our politicians lap their tails, because, if they go after Americans Intellectual Property, this is when The US State Department and the US Congress steps in, and your sanctions against Our Nation kicks in with warp speed.

      As to what sanctions have CHINA placed on Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, let’s just take a look at those CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS, signed with the PRC, over the past three(3) decades. How many Antiguans and Barbudans are employed on these large scale projects, outside of being labourers?
      Therefore, although they may not be labeled as ‘sanctions,’ they too just like the investors in Our tourism industry bleed Our Nation of scarce funds.

      Again, ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY are the ONLY things which will bring some form of stoppage, to the hemorrhaging of our scarce funds to those who don’t give a phuck about Us, except to keep pimping and prostituting Our Nation!

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

  16. @Geopolitical, based primarily of your repetitive comments, either you or your progenitor were or are members of the Royal Readers fan club, the effects of acute colonialism has affected your thinking. Other than its finite natural resources and its strategic geographic location, the only other thing this twin island state has to offer Europe, China, or the “West” is its human resource.

    Is China a communist state with a veneer of market economics? In my opinion it is. Has the US of A and European nations committed innumerable atrocities against sovereign nations and implanted their puppet governments? Yes. Does Antigua & Barbuda have any merit on the world stage other than its location, natural and human resources? No. As the Newsweek article clearly stated Antigua is roughly the size of New York’s Queens borough. Do you comprehend how infinitesimal small that is? Do you recall the outcome of the American official’s daughter that was imprisoned for travelling with a handgun and live ammunition? After all the hooping and hollering was done, all it took was one phone call and it was as though she never existed or visited the shores of Antigua. That is POWER.

  17. I find it telling that some would wish to argue that African Americans are better off but the facts don’t back up such utterances. One can look at healthcare eg Infant mortality rate (Non-Hispanic Blacks 10.4 per 1 k births) for AA and see it does not compare to what obtains in A&B,(Antigua its 6 deaths per 1000 live births as of 2020) Europe or the UK ( 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019, 9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2020 ). In terms of maternal mortality rate for Black US women it was 55 per 100,000. For A&B it was 21 per 100K, same year. Staying with healthcare one need only remember how African Americans fared during covid “Approximately 97.9 out of every 100,000 African Americans have died from COVID-19, a mortality rate that is a third higher than that for Latinos (64.7 per 100,000), and more than double than that for whites (46.6 per 100,000) and Asians (40.4 per 100,000). ” see,Asians%20(40.4%20per%20100%2C000). Life expectancy for A&B is 79.4 years vs 70.8 years for African Americans

    Its also telling that some Antiguan’s who live overseas enjoy pointing to past scandals involving A&B but close the eye to the central role their adapted country played in the scandal. Whether its the Space research scandal, guns to Columbia, they ignore the central role of the US in all of this due to its claimed fight against communism. We now see the same saga being played out as the US arms Israel so it can kill Palestinians women and children in what the UN has made clear is a possible genocide (some 23 billion just approved by US congress, plus 65 billion for Ukraine). Newsmax this known hard right media organization, pointing fingers at investments made by China in A&B, yet as of early 2023 the Chinese have invested some 53 billion USD in the US

  18. Is Antigua aware that we have the ONLY SEZ IN THE WORLD NOT OWNED BY GOVERNMENT!
    Special Economic Zones are built to encourage trade free areas where Government control is through ownership not taxes!

  19. One day Antigua and Barbuda wll awake from.its deep long slumber to find its citizens no longer have dominion over their destiny, rather overrun by hordes of Chinese directing how they think and speak. Can someone please explain why one of the MOUs would link ABS to Chinese Media Group? Never mind, Uncle Sam is keeping a keen eye on the goings-on being played by our Visionary Leader. His pockets are already full of filthy lucre, more than enough to keep him in happy exile.

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