In a statement, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China it is offended by the “unsubstantiated claims” in the video and has generated widespread discussion on social media.
In the video, former national security minister, Peter Bunting, and a member of Parliament, makes the claim of “economic colonialism” .
“We believe these claims could encourage a backlash and create an unsafe environment for Chinese Nationals working in Jamaica,” the Embassy statement noted.
“There are clear separations between the Chinese Government and the management of Chinese state-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises operate independently under business rules and assume sole responsibility for their profits and losses.
“The Government does not underwrite losses of state-owned enterprises. The Chinese Government continues to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Jamaica as long as these projects bring value to the Jamaican people and are profitable,” the statement noted.
China also dismissed allegations that Chinese companies in Jamaica engage in unfair competition, saying “Chinese companies are by nature very competitive. Their primary aim is the satisfaction of their customers by delivering timely, within budget and high quality work.
“Duty concessions are usually offered for projects that are joint ventures with Government of Jamaica such as the North South Highway and in other cases as a way to attract foreign investors. Concessions offered by the Jamaican Government are not limited to Chinese companies but are made available to other Foreign Investors.”
The Chinese authorities also disagreed with suggestions that more of their nationals were employed here as against Jamaicans, noting that the number of Jamaicans on staff at all Chinese companies far outnumber Chinese staff.
“The allegation that Chinese companies use convict labour is offensive and false. Such serious allegations by a former Minister of National Security should at the very least be substantiated by evidence. If Mr Bunting can produce such evidence, the Chinese Embassy will not hesitate to support whatever sanctions the Jamaican Government would wish to impose on the offending company,” the Embassy said.
It also disagreed with allegations that Chinese companies here are not transparent.
“he companies operate under Jamaican laws and regulations. If any Chinese Company is found to be operating outside of the law, it is up to the Jamaican authorities to take action.
“This Embassy and by extension the Government of China support the rule of law. We have also taken steps to promote the learning of English by our Chinese workers and Chinese by Jamaicans to promote better communication and mutual understanding.”
The Embassy said that although Bunting claimed he has asked it for information, “the Embassy has so far not received any request via phone, letter or email from him on this matter.
“China and Jamaica have had a long friendship and over the years our economic partnerships have been mutually beneficial. Chinese companies will continue to offer to the Jamaican Government and people value for money in the contracts they pursue.
“As we did recently in granting a request from the Government of Jamaica to supply the fireworks for the Grand Gala Celebrations, and the construction of a Children’s Hospital in Western Jamaica, the Government of China will continue to support projects and events that benefit the masses the Jamaican people.
“Our aim is not to “colonise” Jamaica but to always find areas of cooperation and mutual benefit that will improve the lives of both our people,” the Embassy said in the statement.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that his administration will act in the best interest of the Jamaican people while remaining open to foreign investment in the country.
Holness made the comments as the government signed a partnership agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the Barbican Road Improvement Works project.
“The government is very sensitive to what has been happening. I want to reassure the people of Jamaica that the Government of Jamaica will always act in the best interest of the people of Jamaica,” said Prime Minister Holness, noting that the country’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China dates back to 1972; and that Jamaica continues to support the One China policy.
He said that as the largest provider of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), China represents a window of opportunity for Jamaica to gain true economic independence.
““We have to be receptive to investments not just from China. Jamaica wants to see a diversified portfolio of investors coming into this country. We want investors from all over to come here and invest.
“We want people to choose Jamaica to invest; we want people to choose to make their homes in Jamaica and so the Government of Jamaica has, not just with my government but with the previous government and the government that I was a part of before that developed a strategic relationship and partnership with the Government of China,” Holness said.
- Countries: Jamaica