China breaks ground for multi-million dollar embassy

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he feels vindicated that the government of Antigua and Barbuda gave China 5 acres of land for one dollar.

Browne said it is because of the gift, two years ago, that China is now able to break ground for a US$ 23 million modern embassy at Marble Hill.

Addressing the ceremony over the weekend, Browne said at the time detractors thought the land gift was not a good move.

He said the decision is justified because over the last decade, China’s contribution to Antigua and Barbuda is unsurpassed.

Browne said that the construction of the embassy will help secure Antigua has a hob for diplomatic services in the event China decides to close its embassies elsewhere and consolidate its operations.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I recently read a piece in a Jamaican paper where some BBC journalist warned Jamaican government to be wary of the Chinese and their investments. The same must be said of all the Caribbean islands. The Chinese “move very fast”, and “very few countries in the world give out aid without wanting something.

    Over the past couple of years, the Chinese have almost dominated business that were traditionally Antiguan owned and operated. Souvenir shops, supermarkets and even many sub standard Chinese restaurants have now become a part of our landscape. There seem to be no protection for the indigenous Antiguan anymore and Chinese are now a part of everything. Whilst the PM sees the giving away of the land and the building of an Embassy as a great thing, I see it as a consolidation of the Chinese domination and I am again warning my Government of serious consequences later on. China is not in this simply for love, China expects to be the next super power and they intend to take over these countries one day. We will borrow and borrow until we are able to repay and as settlement, China will just take us over soon….watch and see.

    • I agree 100% with PM Browne on having strong relations with China. I am proud that China and Antigua have a great relationship. The future is China, not the US or the EU. Frankly, China treats Antigua so much better than how the US or the EU treats us. Thank you China for building this Embassy here, because the US and EU treat us so very bad.

    • China is a great country for Antigua to have a relationship with. Open your eyes, the 21st century is going to be the century of Asia and China.

  2. So long as the Prime Minister feels vindicated then I guess that makes it just perfectly fine that 5 acres of our land was given to China. None of my family feel “vindicated” in the slightest since we are well aware that China never “gives” anything without a payback and we, the people are the ones doing ALL the payback. Chinese construction and design quality leaves a lot to be desired to say the least. One acre would have been hard enough to swallow but five acres of the peoples’ land given on one person’s whim is a total abuse of power in my opinion. We can just about be guaranteed that the building/s will resemble something right out of China and will stick out like a sore thumb in that architecturally pleasing neighbourhood.

  3. Now let us look at the NETATIVE effects of this.

    1 THE GOVERNMENT GAVE CHINA 5 ACRES OF LAND. This should have been a long term LEASE similar to what was in place for the US bases that saw the land RETURNING TO THE PEOPLE OF ANTIGUA.
    2 THE RENT THEY ARE PAYING TO AN ANTIGUAN WILL COME TO AN END.
    3 99.5% OF CONSTRUCTION LABOUR WILL BE CHINES .
    4 ALL BUILDING MATERIAL WILL BE IMPORTED FROM CHINA WITH FULL DUTY FREE CONCESSIONS.
    5 ALL LAND SCAPING, MAINTENANCE, SECURITY, DOMESTIC, WORK WILL BE DONE BY CHINESE.
    6 ALL CHINESE COMING TO ANTIGUA WILL STAY THERE NO HOTEL, GUEST HOUSE ETC WILL BENEFIT.
    7 THE CHINESE IS SOLIDIFYING THEMSELF IN THIS HEMISPHERE.
    8 ALL THEIR FOOD, HOUSEHOLD ITEMS ETC WILL BE IMPORTED DUTY FREE.

    THE 23 MILLION DOLLARS DOES NOT EXIST IT IS ONLY A VALUE ON PAPER.
    CHINA QILL PROVIDE THE CHEAP LABOUR, AND PRIDUCE ALL THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL, FIXTURES, FURNITURE ETC…..
    BIG FIGURES DONT FOOL PEOPLE ANYMORE, EXAMINE THE ACTUAL.
    China has been good to Antigua WHY?
    The PM is a clever man I am convinced he knows exactly what he is doing and in who’s interest he is doing it. History will tell the tale

    • You are wrong, it is not 99.5% will be chinese workers, it will be 99.99% that will be chinese workers. That was the first thing I thought about ha ha ha ha.

      I agree it should have been a long-term lease. China demands something in return for what they are giving and most of the times, it is something immoral. Vote against the ban on killing nearly extinct this or that. Vote against the ban on sanctions that Chinese rightly receive in NATO or UN. It is nearly always immoral, unethical and unjust demands. when it comes to china, they make sure they benefit 99.99% from whatever they do.

  4. If the PM thinks China will be consolidating anything it will be all of Antigua’s assets. The PM could have given Antiguan Citizens a 40 x 40 plot of land in the five acres for a dollar so they could build homes on.

  5. Why must Prime Minister Browne do such an idiotic thing like this? – Can’t he see what they are doing in Africa and other countries and Jamaica, etc! – I’m sure Gaston Browne know who the Illuminati is – Well give Antiguan people who born there of Antiguan parents land for a $1 too, fair is fair – And another thing, stop letting all these other people from Guyana,and arabs, chinee, and d next body come in Antigua and and settle down, just becoz dem got a little money to show – it iz foolishness! – dem come in and commit crimes causing destruction pon d land, wat really gine on! – Iz time for a change, vote for a new PM, somebody who iz for d people and understand their needs and concerns.

  6. The People of Antigua are the winners in this one. The People’s Prime Minister knows exactly what he is doing, and he is looking after the long term interests of our nation. Hopefully he will insist that they employ local tradespeople whenever possible. Antigua will benefit from this action. The United States and the United Kingdom are welcome to build embassies here also. In fact, why are they not doing so? We are friends of all and enemies of none.

    • I agree with you. It is funny how some uneducated Antiguans continue to think that the EU and the US are doing great favors for us, when they are actually not helping us at. At least China cares about us and is trying to be our friend – what is wrong with that?

  7. China has given and or committed hundreds of millions in grants, gifts to the Government and people of Antigua & Barbuda. These include: Sir Viv Richards Stadium at a cost of $70M, knuckle Block sporting and community Centre at a cost of $40M, $90M committed to build 250 residences, among others.

    In addition, The People’s Republic of China has extended concessional loans in excess of $400M, to construct our air and sea ports. These loans are over 20 years, at two percent, with a five year moratorium. These are the most generous terms in the market. The alternative is to borrow at commercial rates up to 10 percent, over a maximum term of 10 years.

    Without concessional financing, we would not have been successful in rebuilding our air and seaports. The latter, are critical infrastructural projects to generate revenue to support our development.

    If, we had the option of approaching the US, or any other country, or institution for concessional loans, we would have been more than happy to do so. Instead, these countries and organizations have utilized the flawed per capital income criterion, to preclude us from accessing much needed concessional financing.

    Consequently, we have had to borrow at commercial rates over every short periods, 7-10 years, exacerbating our interest costs and debt service burden.

    Perhaps, there are some who are following the narrative of others blindly, instead of, looking at the facts and to make an informed decision.

    The people of Antigua & Barbuda have benefited tremendously from the benevolence of the PRC and we remain grateful for their assistance.

    Let me remind us all that: ungratefulness is worst than witchcraft.

    We continue to stand with the PRC in solidarity and with pride.

    • @ Gasron Browne our finite 5 acres of land is worth more than ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO THE MAN THAT HAS AN UNSPOKEN AGENDA and MONEY IS AS SAND ON OUR SEASHORE TO HIM…. understand this

      BEING CONTENT WITH ONE HAS PRODUCES MORE PRIDE WITHIN ONESELF THAN TO SELL HIS GRAND PARENTS BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS, AND MUTALATED BODY’S INHERITANCE. Pride builds a nation not money.

      Consider this I pick a half ripe sugar apple and I squeeze it and squeeze it until it is in a state that I can consume it.
      If you butter up someone long enough with A LITTLE PATIENCE eventually you will attain your UNSPOKEN, UNSUSPECTING agenda.
      REMEBER EVERYONE THAT IS NICE TO YOU IS NOT NECESSARILY A FRIEND (RASTAMAN)

    • @ Gaston Browne Being grateful is one thing, but is there not a limit on what you would do to show your appreciation? What’s NEXT A CHINESE IN THE SENATE OR ON THE ABLP TICKET?

      Witchcraft may not be a bad thing if you are the witch.

      I HAVE SUPPORTED MANY OF YOUR EFFORTS BUT THIS ONE WITHOUT ANY CONTRADICTION IS BAD BAD BAD MOVE FOR YOUR LEGACY…..

    • I am very happy that Antigua has a good relationship with China and I totally agree with PM Browne. Antiguans need to be smarter about global and international relationships. It is time for Antiguans to understand that the US and EU are not the friend of Antigua, and only China has shown genuine interest in building a solid diplomatic relationship with our country.

      Ignore the haters PM Browne, at least 80% of the country supports you in building a stronger and more robust relationship with PRC China.

  8. Since all the other ground breakings never materialize, I am of the same thinking that this also will not materialize. I would only believe when I see it.

  9. It is very important for Antigua and China to have a great relationship in the future. Anybody who has studied in university recently or watches the news regularly will know that China is the future of the world economically and strategically. PM Browne is very smart to establish a great relationship with China. Hopefully Antiguans can have visa-free access into China soon!

  10. It’s quite simple, no one gives up that much for little. Let’s recap:Sir Viv Stadium 70m, knuckle block 40m, commitment to build residences 90m and loans in excess of 400m, incontrovertibly, there is a price to be paid, not by the PM but future generations, as we will not I mmediately reap the price.
    Lastly, I am not sure the quote used “ungratefulness is worst than witchcraft, is most fitting, the Bible states stubbornness is worst than witchcraft, listen to your citizens. There is wise council in a multitude of citizens. Don’t be led by your pride. The way of a fool is wise in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice

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