PNP President, Dr. Peter Phillips, is distancing his party from controversial comments his spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, has made criticizing the Chinese and their investments in Jamaica.
In a statement today, Dr. Phillips says the relationship between the PNP and China remains strong. He’s made the declaration following a meeting today with the Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Niu Qingbao. This comes one week after Mr. Bunting expressed concern that the Chinese were practicing a new form of economic colonialism.
In his statement, Dr. Phillips says over many decades the relationship between his Party and China has remained strong. Dr. Phillips cites the PNP’s history of international cooperation with China when it formed the government. He says he wishes to make it clear that the PNP will continue to pursue mutually respectful and friendly relations with China.
This, based on the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of each state. He says the PNP is of the view that it’s the primary duty of the government to keep under constant review the sovereign interest of the Jamaican people.
The statement from Dr. Phillips is an obvious attempt to cauterize any fallout with the Chinese that could result from Mr. Bunting’s comments which were originally made on social media.
Mr. Bunting’s views were strongly condemned in a letter from the Chinese Embassy last Friday.
When called this afternoon, PNP General Secretary, Julian Robinson, today told our news centre that Dr. Phillip’s statement is not a repudiation of Mr. Bunting. But he says certain concerns should be voiced through proper diplomatic channels.
When asked if Mr. Bunting was on a frolic of his own, the PNP General Secretary refused to be drawn.
Mr. Robinson says Mr. Bunting’s views are a matter that must be discussed internally.