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

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
(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

Editor-In-ChiefNewsweek 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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