China needs transparency, accountability
THE EDITOR, Madam:
THIS IS with reference to the In Focus article ‘Joint efforts for new prosperity’, written by the Chinese Ambassador Tian Qi in The Sunday Gleaner, let me take the opportunity to express my gratitude for the assistance provided by China to Jamaica and the Caribbean for fighting the COVID-19 crisis. However, I feel that though China has a strong plan for economic revival and progress, it will be difficult to implement it, especially when the whole world is still grappling with the COVID-19 crisis.
The ambassador talks about greater globalisation, multilateralism and rule-based world order, but such a world order is not possible if countries like China continue to withhold important information, like about the COVID-19 crisis. CNN’s Farid Zakaria’s recent investigation and the WHO’s own statement have pointed to some sort of deliberate delay on the part of China in sharing information about the COVID-19 crisis with the world, including with their allies from the One Belt One Road project.
We acknowledge that China is a world power, but the ambassador would also do well to desist from belittling countries like Jamaica by using expressions – like saying that the Hainan Island project is three times as big as Jamaica. Clearly, the per capita income and the quality of life – and not the size of the project or place – matter in reality. And Jamaica does not do badly on these parameters when compared to any middle-income country, including China.
To envision a world order mentioned by the ambassador, China will have to reform itself by becoming more transparent and accountable for its decisions and actions.
YANIQUE BENNETT Kingston