The Chinese Embassy in Jamaica is describing as allegations made this week by Central Manchester Member of Parliament, the PNP’s Peter Bunting as “Offensive, false and dangerous!”
In his online feature called ‘The Probe’, Mr. Bunting, a former National Security Minister, claimed that Jamaicans are concerned that the island may be undergoing what he described as a new type of economic colonialism due to an influx of Chinese investment.
In a statement today, the Chinese Embassy says it’s offended by what it calls “unsubstantiated” claims made in the video titled “Chinese Take Over”.
This is one of the claims made by Mr. Bunting which has offended the Embassy.
The Chinese Embassy says Mr. Bunting’s claims could encourage a backlash and create an unsafe environment for Chinese nationals working in Jamaica.
According to the Embassy, Mr. Bunting had suggested that Chinese companies operating in Jamaica are owned by the Government of China and therefore have unlimited resources — which Jamaican companies cannot compete against.
But it says there are clear separations between the Chinese Government and the management of Chinese state-owned enterprises.
It says the Chinese state-owned enterprises operate independently under business rules and assume sole responsibility for their profits and losses.
The embassy says the Government of China does not underwrite losses of state-owned enterprises.
The Embassy says it continues to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Jamaica as long as these projects bring value to the Jamaican people and are profitable.
The Chinese Embassy has also rejected Mr. Bunting’s claim that Chinese companies in Jamaica benefit unfairly from duty concessions.
According to the Chinese, duty concessions are usually offered for projects that are joint ventures with the Government of Jamaica.
The Embassy says concessions offered by the Jamaican Government are not limited to Chinese companies but are made available to other foreign investors.
The Chinese officials have also challenged Mr. Bunting’s claim that their companies in Jamaica employ more of their nationals than Jamaicans.
Their statement says the number of Jamaicans on staff at all Chinese companies in Jamaica far outnumber Chinese staff. It also gives examples.
It says Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company Limited currently has 800 Jamaican staff and only 26 Chinese staff.
It added that JISCO Alpart bauxite plant has 730 Jamaican workers and 151 Chinese staff.
They’ve also taken exception to the allegation that Chinese companies employ convicts to work in Jamaica.
They say that claim is offensive and false.
The embassy says such serious allegations from a former Minister of National Security should, at the very least, be substantiated by evidence.
The statement from the Chinese ends by stating – “our aim is not to colonize Jamaica but to always find areas of cooperation and mutual benefit that will improve the lives of both our people.”