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SVG's Opposition Leader, Godwin Friday, left, and Chairman of China Zhi Gong Party, Wan Gang in China. (NDP photo)
SVG’s Opposition Leader, Godwin Friday, left, and Chairman of China Zhi Gong Party, Wan Gang in China. (NDP photo)
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Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday says he recently led a delegation from his New Democratic Party (NDP), the main opposition party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), on a visit to Beijing and Shanghai, where they held talks with officials of the China Zhi Gong Party.

The visit comes two years after the NDP announced that, if elected to office, they will cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan — which Beijing considers a wayward province — and establish formal links with China.

Friday told a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday — the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the NDP — that his delegation included Arnhim Eustace, Member of Parliament for East Kingstown, who announced the change in NDP policy towards China in August 2016, when he was NDP president and opposition leader.

The delegation also included Member of Parliament for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre, and Benjamin “Ben” Exeter, who was the NDP’s candidate in Central Leeward in the December 2015 general election.

Friday said that the China visit saw his delegation meeting with ministers and officials of the China Zhi Gong Party in Beijing and Shanghai.

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“There, we discussed the possibility of investments in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including teaming up with local entrepreneurs to invest in any sector of our local economy. We believe that investment is needed in the country to help spur economic growth and to bring employment for our people, especially among the youth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Friday said.

The China Zhi Gong Party — translated into English as China Party for Public Interest — is one of the eight legally recognised political parties in the People’s Republic of China that follow the direction of the Communist Party of China and are represented in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Wikipedia says.

The online encyclopaedia further says the party appears to be used as a convenient intermediary for contacts with certain foreign interests.

Friday said the NDP believes that foreign direct investment will be crucial to pushing the economy of SVG to the next level.

“It is something that many of our neighbours in the Eastern Caribbean countries are pushing to their advantage, and we should also have that vision.”

The opposition leader said that foreign investment in SVG must be “a win-win scenario where local businesses and citizens benefit, along with the investors.

“That is the NDP approach. So we must attract foreign investment while promoting the economic interests and well-being of our people. That’s our primary mandate. We must always ask how do we benefit from it”

He said that in China, the NDP team discussed investments in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and technological sectors.

“We also spoke about educational opportunities for our people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

He said that his team met with China Zhi Gong Party chairman, Wan Gang.

“In both cities also, with the officials, we discussed what was termed as people-to-people and party-to-party relationships.

11 replies on “Friday leads NDP delegation on China visit”

  1. NDP Taiwan -Bejing polices, is akin to international whoreism. That is why they will be forever in opposition. I am speaking as a person who is neither Ulp or Ndp, I am apolitical. Ndp will sell its,soul for a few dollars more. China is a pariah straight and simple.

  2. This move by the NDP is wrong. I say that without agreeing with the government position on Taiwan. We cannot and should not be making these unofficial “state” visits as a members of parliament. I will say this out loud, I can only hope this is not an attempt to attract foreign government involvement in the up coming local election (less than two years away). We have enough problems without foreign interference come on Friday let’s learn something from the USA president #45.
    To put this in prospective how much more do you thing we will get from China compared to Taiwan? Like the marijuana business we are late to the table and we will see very little return from our new position on China. (A discussion for another day).
    This not to say, if or when you are elected to lead our country you cannot should not change the official position on the one China policy that is different from the current administration.

  3. Going to china is a horrible decision …. China strategically gives loans and investments to smaller and less wealthy nations in an effort to get leverage over them (they have even done this to the great USA) …. as it pertains to technology they use their firms to commit international espionage. The uk, new zealand and many other countries have just banned chinese company huawei from being a part of their up coming 5g network. China has laws that basically give them power to force technology firms to hand over data about their users so if friday wants to go with china just know the risks which are involved ….. This is a dumb move by the NDP. Friday is like a barracuda the first shiny thing he sees he swims to but in this case i think hes running towards the hook !

  4. Definition of pariah
    1 : a member of a low caste of southern India
    2 : one that is despised or rejected : OUTCAST
    Not so “straight and simple” is your misuse of the English language! How can a person who is neither ULP nor NDP be so insistent that the NDP will be forever in opposition.
    Neither of the two entities have pure motives but a single China is the policy of the UN. Countries do not have friends but must have interests. Cut the partisan nonsense..

    1. I don’t see a misuse of the English language. Basically China is desperate for global power, and their strategic efforts have made them a pariah on the world stage. Hence, their investments in Africa, Pakistan, Latin America. Countries that are deemed high risk. I will leave it here for now.

  5. The NDP is making a move outlining their foreign policies. They are right, The ULP is well aligned with Taiwan. Pay close attention to what they are saying about Chinese investment, not development aid. They are clearly thinking about the youth; looking toward that future. What is good about this is that the talks are transparent. No confusing phrases. But NDP must also outline concrete steps that they will take on the ground in Kingstown. How long will it take for these investments in agriculture fisheries and tourism? Invite the chinese business people to Kingstown. See if the people trust them.

  6. Who in their right minds thinks that Chinese investments will create jobs need to check themselves into the mental asylum. NDP is too desperate without any reliable vision on how to enhance the functionalities of the economic sectors in SVG. Why is this party acting with so much short-sightedness? China will flood a weak and corrupt government with cash, fully well knowing the country has a very high probability of default, then will seize the very project the created or lease their ports for 99 years probably for $1. Per year. Furthermore, as demonstrated in many countries, China brings its own people to build these project. How is that creating employment? The money their workers are paid goes back to China? How is that contributing to the economy of SVG?

    Shame on you NDP. The Vincentians people will soon wake up.

  7. Foreign direct investment (FDI), even when it involves one rich country investing in another rich country, always privileges and enriches mainly the foreign direct investor. When lots of local jobs are created it is disproportionately at the low end of the labour pool.

    Our very first FDI was the investment by scores of British sugar cane planters beginning in 1763 which witnessed control by and enrichment of these individuals many of whom spent very little if any time living in SVG. This FDI saw the conquest, slaughter, and ethnic cleansing (via forced emigration) of much of the indigenous population plus the forced immigration of tens of thousands of African slaves.

    The next big FDI push was the light assembly factories during the 1960s employing low-paid and low-benefit manual labour nearly all of which pulled out after their concessions ended or because they found even cheaper labour markets to invest in elsewhere.

    Is the ULP now calling for our re-slavement by the predatory and selfish Chinese?

  8. Antony look at the broader definition of pariah and you will get a sense of what the writer is alluding to. Remember the interpretation is to be taken in the context in which it isbeing used. In this context the writer is referring to being dislike because of….You refer to the UN, who controls the UN? Is China not a permanent member of the UN with worse human rights records? I can see you are blind in one eye. It’s all right to be non-partisan.

  9. Well done Dr. Friday and the NDP. This shows you have the people, country and the creation of wealth through investment at heart and not no welfare state.. A complete opposite of the ULP, to with whom, there’s no hope but pure keep down, partisan and politics, victimization and discrimination, criminality and so forth.

  10. Anthony you should read what happened to Djibouti and Zambia after falling in China debt trap. In the case of Djibouti, china took over the port in order to recover debt owed to china andnd Zambia lost sovereignty over its Zambia energy. The point is you cannot trust the Chinese not even in trade.

    Another note, the Chinese kept their currency artificially low to gain trade advantages. Trump was made them to correct this.They were also ask to reduce taxes of 40 percent on American cars. Anthony my observation is that you are not well read and indeed, China is a,parish state.
    In addition, look at their behavior in the south China sea, they have imported sand and stone to make the atoll artificial islands on order to claim sovereignty over the south China sea.

    The ulp has no right to go to china. I lost all respect for the ndp and Friday. As the writer before correctly stated, they the ndp has resorted to international whoreism.

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