January 23, 2018

Trotman hails China’s ‘no strings attached’ approach to aid

Members of the Chinese delegation in discussion with members of Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee on Monday. In photo are Zhang Gaoli, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman along with local parliamentarians Rennis Morian, Ronald Bulkan, Cathy Hughes and Bibi Shadick

Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman has hailed China’s no-strings-attached approach to the provision of aid to this country, saying while other countries tie certain conditions to aid, Beijing does not. Trotman made the comments following a courtesy visit by Communist Party of China (CPC) Tianjin Municipal Committee Secretary Zhang Gaoli to his office on Monday. The top Chinese official was accompanied by a delegation of 18 other officials. The delegation also met with President Donald Ramotar.
Following the meeting, Trotman told the media that Guyana and China have always shared close relations and will continue to do so because of strengthened ties over the years. According to him, the visit by such a prominent member of China illustrates the importance of Parliament and the functions of those who are members. He said the visit also clearly illustrated the weight that is given to the institution.
“The high point of this visit was the fact that there was a visit. In the sense that this is a very serious ranking member of the government… of China… making the Parliament his second most important stop after the Office of the President speaks volumes. We are heartened by the fact that we were identified, it means that we are being regarded as being very important,” he told the media.
The Speaker said: “Relations between Guyana and China have been traditionally better than good, because Guyana was the first country to recognise China, the Communist Party’s rule, and its legitimate right to rule after the revolution and the One China Policy has been underscored by us.” He added that China has never attempted to impose upon Guyana its own customs and practices in any field like other countries that provide aid have.
“We believe that China has been a very good friend from afar and what is unique about China is that its involvement in Guyana has never been one that sought to interfere with our internal political structure. Other countries give aid with conditions – whether there be on governance, on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) or a raft of legislation on social issues. China has never given with conditionalities coming with them, and that is something we appreciate.”


CPC member Zhang and Speaker Trotman shake hands in front of Parliament Building

Meanwhile, Ronald Bulkan, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the National Assembly, told the media that the mere fact that a high ranking official of the Chinese government visited the National Assembly and interacted with the Speaker illustrates the level of respect that must be given to the institution.
“What we have here is a high-ranking delegation from one of the most progressive societies of the world underscoring the supremacy and the paramouncty of this institution-the National Assembly,” Bulkan noted.
He said it is reassuring to see high-level persons from highly developed societies emphasising that institutions such as Parliament ought to fly above internal party squabbling and must be respected. “… it is very reassuring to us… I am happy that today’s visit is but another example of the importance of this institution,” the parliamentarian added.
Echoing the sentiments of Trotman and Bulkan, Cathy Hughes of the Alliance For Change (AFC) joined her colleagues in highlighting the significance of the National Assembly and its members, particularly the Speaker. That aside, Hughes said there is a need for locals to recognise the “tremendous strides” that China has made over the years. “It is an excellent opportunity for us in Guyana to look at the China model and see how we could better what we have here. I think what stands out a lot when we talk about China is their excellent and disciplined work ethics and that is certainly something that we in Guyana want to start promoting,” Hughes said, urging that Guyana adopt higher work ethics and consider China’s examples in relation to development in terms of technology, infrastructure and expansion.
In brief comments, Zhang said he is appreciative of Guyana’s efforts to strengthen ties with China over the years, noting that the country has much potential given its land mass and the amount of natural resources available. Guyana’s relationship with China dates back some 40 years.