Antigua denies that China is creating a debt trap for it

Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne in conversation with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.

SOURCE:, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne deplored the narrative that China is creating a “debt trap,” saying both loans offered by China and China-aided projects within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have truly delivered benefits to Antigua and Barbuda.

Browne made the statement in an exclusive interview with China Media Group (CMG), on sidelines of an official visit to China from Jan 22 to 28 in Beijing.

During Browne’s visit, he met Chinese President Xi Jinping on bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern.

Antigua and Barbuda signed a memorandum of understanding with China on cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Silk Road Initiative in 2018, becoming the first Eastern Caribbean country to sign a Belt and Road cooperation MoU with China.

Within the BRI framework, the country has gained access to financial resources that may not have been available through traditional international financial institutions, said Browne.

“What would have happened during the last two decades is that Antigua and Barbuda have got funding, concessional funding, funding that ordinarily we could not access through the World Bank or the IMF and even on better terms, so the detractors of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) speak about the ‘debt trap’. I can tell you that is certainly not true,” he said.

Describing China as the “most benevolent country on the planet,” the prime minister expressed appreciation from Antigua and Barbuda for China’s assistance in improving infrastructure in his country.

“And in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, if it wasn’t for the concessional loans from the People’s Republic of China, as well as the various assistance that we receive, we would not have been able to successfully pursue a number of projects. So for example, the rebuilding of our airport, the airport terminal, rebuilding of a seaport facility or cargo port. The total funding we’ve in the region about… The People’s Republic of China is the most benevolent country on the planet. And that President Xi in terms of his whole philosophical outlook of a shared future, is extremely commendable. I mean a very noble vision in which he is delivering in very tangible ways in which these developing countries are benefiting in tangible ways,” Browne said.

The renovation and expansion of Saint. John’s Harbor, a BRI project, was completed in September, 2022.

The new port is able to host multiple container ships and cruise ships simultaneously. It is in transformation into a massive transport hub for the region.

With the completion of the project, Antigua and Barbuda has the largest passenger and cargo terminal in the eastern Caribbean region. With a total area of about 12,000 square meters, the harbor can accommodate two 10,000-ton ships at the same time, and it will have an annual capacity of 550,000 tons as the largest shipping hub in the region, providing a new source of growth for the country’s economy.

Launched on January 15, 2018, the project was contracted to China Civil Engineering Construction Corp with a concessional loan of 600 million yuan (86.22 million U.S. dollars) issued by the Export-Import Bank of China.

Local people say they hope the project can create more jobs and improve their life.

“Due to the new port that we have right now, we have better innovations, better technology and a better facility, to be honest, that we also have a better way of life,” said Jumane Atanadze, an administrative official at the port.

“I was assigned to the port since [in] August 2019. I think the project that has been happening since then is a good thing for the port, in terms of redefining and primarily upgrading the spaces and basically uplifting the area. And of course, it has brought many benefits for the cargo importation to Antigua and Barbuda,” said Shane Samuel, engineering adviser at the port.

China's Belt and Road Initiative benefits Antigua and Barbuda: PM

China’s Belt and Road Initiative benefits Antigua and Barbuda: PM

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. Leaders that call you names because you are not in agreement with their strategies are the worse. Why are folks detractors because they have a reasonable fear of owing China based on the type of government it is, and how it treats it people.

    I strongly believe such loans should be highly scrutinize and if I had my way, nothing (cash) should be borrowed from China.

    A leader of a country who does not have even a ounce of skepticism dealing with China is not fit at all to lead any democratic and fair country.

    It is like telling me I do not care and cannot help that your endeavor that advocates and represents for crime, abuse and terrorism victims is of national importance. I will help.

    It is like saying, there is nothing to fear from Bin Laden, and lower your guard as there is zero risk.

    I have expressed for years ABLP is a caring party and I hereby say I was and is completely wrong. How many ministers I contacted and not one helped me with my issue. But I promise you that all their sons and daughters are helped.

    My family has been so brained wash not even them comprehend they deserve more.

    Family member recently had to travel from Antigua for medical care to a dangerous country for medical care, guess whose large amount of money was withdrawn for the trip? Yet they praise ABLP over me.

  2. Great leaders will empathize with the fear of the people, especially those that are reasonable, as in this case. He will not call you detractors and other negative names.

    It hurts so much not being able to make the people of the United Islands of Antigua and Barbuda see they deserve better treatment.

    I accept at this time they will not comprehend anything I convey to them. This era will not learn.

  3. This China debt trap propaganda came from the western Colonial super power Governments, they act as if they are the only countries in the world should be developed and strive, that is why we only get sanctions and lectures from them, to keep our Government coming to them with cap in hand begging.

    Do you remember the online gaming industry Antigua and Barbuda had that was booming in the 90s? Because they could not find a way to tax that industry out of existence they put sanctions on Antigua and Barbuda and killed that industry, and they still owe us for damages from the WTO decisions, because of their military might they took grave advantage of us, and they control the WTO so the WTO do not even have gum to bite.

    Anyone can tell me of a positive program these Western superpower Governments have in place that benefited us and made our economy grow? Their IMF and World bank programs are conditioned to make us worst off.

    The western Superpowers are allowing Israel to break all war laws, committing genocide in Gaza, giving them a slap on the wrist with a warning, then still sending ammunition to Israel for them to continue the genocide, what does this have in common with the IMF and World bank loans? Go figure.

    Right now the Western Superpower Governments are forming an alliance with Japan and the Philippines to do their dirty work in Asia, to try and stop China’s development, I guess they are scared of the Malaysia belt and road port development.

    Do you think right WW3 is inevitable? The western Governments rather fight than to compromise, so sad.

    Please note it is not the people of these countries I am talking about, it is their Governments.

    • @Geopolitic Issues…🤣❌☦️🦉❌🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏥☦️❎🏴‍☠️🤞🏾😇🤣at each and every #road, that we as HUEmans come to, there’s always contention m.

      There’s no doubt, that both factions; whether, northern or southern, Eastern or western or from any angle which HUEman has emerged from to grow into, such things as #superpowers, they ALL each and every one, comes with atrocities and the spoils of war[s], that goes to the captors/victorious ones, even if just for a moment, at some point, they’ve being #bitches and #crooks!

      While Israel the Military Base set up by the Western Powers, at around the same time period(1900-1920), when the Federal Reserve Bank and its subsidiary’s began to take control of the World’s economy, millions of humans were starving and a great many died. Did they give a fuck then? No!
      Therefore, what these #fake_israellites gangsters are doing in GAZA today 2016 Geez Time, ain’t nothing new!

      Now to #BRICS+, personally, it looks great from the outside, as we see all the players involved. In particular, many on the Alkebulan:African and South American Continents. I love, and not just because, it will continue to prove, that HUEmans of darker hues are able and capable to manage their personal lives, but also, the personal resources which they were blessed with, as the ESSENCE OF NATURE’S ETHER, deem them worthy of. We inherited magnificence through Our genes, therefore, it’s only fitting and truly so, that we will grow and be nurtured out of the best!

      I, said what I just said; to let you know…
      (i)….the Chinese, Asians, Russians, Arabs, all know the truth of the Alkebulan_Root. The Soirits that they reVERE are in Us, and they know, that to survive and thrive, as The Potpourri(we call it Pepperpot) of HUEmanity, must be maintained by our GENES.
      You can go from stem cell to bone marrow to tissue regrowth, OUR GENES MATTER. The Hela_Cells are still very much alive, even though Henrietta Lacks physical body is long laid to rest, well for the most part.

      Therefore, while Nations like Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA should deal with the BRICS+ faction, we still have to be very meticulous when handling this BLOCK. Lest you forget, just before this Belt Road, which is a continuation, of Mau Zedong policies, his Armies were accused of atrocities way beyond what’s happening in the GAZA today. Is it true? Was it Western media propaganda? Tiananmen Square was televised live.

      While, I have no problems with getting loans from this BRICS+ block and the World Bank, IMF, Federal Reserve Coalition, the ACCOUNTABILITY aspect matters.

      @Geopolitic Issue, are you trying to say, that China will not come after Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA if they don’t repay these loans, in some way?

      Allegedly, the Gaston Browne, PM led Ruling Arm of our government, is using public lands, tax concessions, etc, to repay some of these loans, which will definitely give China the upper hand, in such things as IMPORTS & EXPORTS within our Nation.


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

      Vere C. Edwards

  4. @Geopolitic issues, I can answer your question pertaining to what western countries have provided the caribbean. Example of giving people constitutional and humane rights. Tourism in which most money being spent in the Caribbean is coming from these same western country.

    Go to the sea port and airport and 99% of visitors are from the western world who put money in your and our pockets. Instead of authoritarian countries that have you spending and provide no option for them to spend money in the small islands.

    Stealing of western intellectual property and then using this to make themself rich and giving away money is what you think is better?

    As soon as they get some free money they are willing to do all sort of horrible things.

    Even abusing your own people for china within the above article because of their reasonable skepticism and apprehension.

  5. @My way of helping, Who upgraded the sea and airports infrastructure so more tourist come to the Antigua and Barbuda?

    Most of the cruise ships passengers funds goes to the Cruise ships companies, which are headquartered in these Western Superpowers Countries, to Global Port, the Government to maintain the Ports infrastructure , and pay back China for the loan that the Government got from them upgraded the port, maybe if the middle man Global Port was not there we would have being better off, and where are Global Port headquarters?

    Who owns most of the Hotels in Antigua and Barbuda, most of these hotel guest funds do not reach Antigua and Barbuda shores, yes the Government get head tax from hotel and cruise ships guests.

    How many local Antiguans and Barbudans get rich from this industry, I guess we are ok on just surviving, that is how the Western superpower colonial Governments program us to think.

  6. If you want to talk about good, it’s only good governance that will uplift any country! I am 75 years old and never saw any thing good come from democracy, it started the transatlantic slave trade, and colonization, the first and second world wars, the Vietnam war, the Korean War, the Panama war, and all other wars past and present, genocide in South Africa, the Congo, and in Gaza! Democracy solve nothing, its always good governance.

  7. Your Porkston Browne thanks you as always for voting her and her family in. When all is said and done, she and her family will like kings and queens from all the money she has acquired practicing creative self enrichment.

    And while she is living in squalor, Antigua will completely be in a debt trap thanks to her making clandestine agreements with China.

    She hopes you will keep voting her and her family in power and will give you back and neck with peas while she and her family will enjoy eating steaks and lobsters as well as be able to go foreign for decent medical care while you, the voters are stuck with the best of the best services you can ever get at St. John’s Holberton Hospital or whatever bullshit name they have renamed it.

    Please keep voting or selling your votes to Porkston Browne so she can continue with her quality of life while you can’t even get your pension. And look she even gave her ministers a 14% raise in salary and what did you get in return? Yes you got Porkston Browne as your PM and guaranteed to get your free ham, turkey, freezer, microwave, driver’s license and even a TV when Christmas comes around.

    Your Porkston Browne thanks you from the bottom of her heart.

  8. You folks could defend and sit back.If the Government does not repay the Chinese loans.They would move in and take over that which the loan built. There are Countries in Africa that felt the wrath of the Chinese Government.When they fell behind on the repayments of loans to China.Do I blame the Chinese ,hell no.If you applied for a loan and got the approval.You should have the where with all to repay said loans.Failure to repay,you would be in default.Gaston Browne,just do not bite off more than the Government could swallow.

  9. @WHARF.

    Thats exactly what he’s doing and continues to do..that’s what many of us are deeply concerned about and continues to be concerned about.

    Nothing is wrong with development and advancement, but at what cost?

    This man suffers from the deadly egotistical decease called ” The Dunning Kruger Effect” so he will continue to reach where his hands can’t reach and further put Antigua in harms way.

    The problem is not that Antigua can’t reach great heights in the region and beyond, the problem is who can lead us there, and it’s certainly not this greedy self serving man.

    Look at the history of all such leaders in the Caribbean and see where their country is.. One cannot lie to bring about good, cannot,and it’s only a fool that will be pompous enough believe that can be achieved.

    This man is the biggest, most dishonest leader in the Caribbean right now by comparison, and that’s to the detriment of all citizens of Antigua and Barbara.

    Just too many lies and coverup, just too many. At some point it will all come to account, and that’s the problem we have here with this leader.

    Certainly a very unfortunate circumstance.

  10. The concept of China’s debt trap diplomacy refers to a situation where China extends large loans to developing countries for infrastructure projects, which those countries may struggle to repay. This can potentially lead to China gaining leverage over the borrowing country, as they may be forced to make concessions or hand over control of strategic assets in order to repay the debt.

    In the context of small islands, there have been concerns raised about the potential risks of falling into a debt trap with China. Given the limited resources and economic vulnerabilities of small islands, there is a fear that they may not be able to repay the loans, leading to increased dependence on China and potential loss of sovereignty.

    It is important for Antigua and Barbuda citizen to carefully assess the terms and conditions of any loans from China, ensure transparency and accountability in the borrowing process, and prioritize sustainable development that benefits the local population in the long run. By being mindful of the risks associated with debt trap diplomacy, small islands can navigate their relationships with China in a way that promotes their own economic development and sovereignty. We need to see the terms and what will happen in 50 years.

  11. “HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — Every time Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, turned to his Chinese allies for loans and assistance with an ambitious port project, the answer was yes.

    Yes, though feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. Yes, though other frequent lenders like India had refused. Yes, though Sri Lanka’s debt was ballooning rapidly under Mr. Rajapaksa.

    Over years of construction and renegotiation with China Harbor Engineering Company, one of Beijing’s largest state-owned enterprises, the Hambantota Port Development Project distinguished itself mostly by failing, as predicted. With tens of thousands of ships passing by along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the port drew only 34 ships in 2012.

    And then the port became China’s.

    Mr. Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015, but Sri Lanka’s new government struggled to make payments on the debt he had taken on. Under heavy pressure and after months of negotiations with the Chinese, the government handed over the port and 15,000 acres of land around it for 99 years in December.”

  12. Interesting to see the CEO of Global Bank attending as part of A&B official delegation.
    Why was he present?
    What role does he play in government-China relations?

Comments are closed.