JAM | Oct 26, 2020

Focus on your own business, Tapia – Chinese Embassy rips into US Ambassador over 5G comments

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Donald Tapia, United States ambassador to Jamaica.

The Chinese Government has condemned United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia’s recent declaration that the island could face negative consequences if it moves forward with any plan to work with companies linked to the Eastern nation in establishing local 5G infrastructure.

In speaking about the idea of Jamaica working with Chinese companies on 5G infrastructure, Tapia had said: “You either have to look to the East to the two-headed dragon, or you’re gonna have to look to the North. It’s a decision your Government will have to make.”

He further added that if Jamaica should work with Chinese firms it would have negative consequences for the country’s banking sector and financial transactions as well as aid granted after natural disasters.

Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi is greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the Office of the Prime Minister shortly after taking up duties on the island in 2018. (Photo: Twitter)

But yesterday, in reacting to Tapia’s comments, the Chinese Embassy in Kingston said it firmly rejected and strongly condemned the remarks warning Jamaica against cooperation with China or Chinese enterprises like Huawei on 5G mobile technology infrastructure.

“Ambassador Tapia’s allegations about China and Chinese enterprises are filled with Cold War mentality and hegemonistic mindset, which fully expose the consistent US practice of arbitrarily interfering in other countries’ domestic and foreign policies and forcing small and medium-sized countries to choose sides,” the Chinese Embassy said.

“5G technology  is without borders and for the benefit of the people in every country in the world. It shouldn’t be politicised.”

The Chinese Embassy noted that Huawei and other Chinese  enterprises have been doing business in Jamaica in accordance with market principles and international rules, and abide by Jamaican laws and regulations. 

It argued that, operating in Jamaica for more than a decade, Huawei was a localised company with a track record in high quality products, solutions as well as cybersecurity, and that, without providing any evidence, Tapia had “stretched the concept of national security and abused his status as an ambassador to influence Jamaica from carrying out normal exchanges and cooperation with certain Chinese enterprises”.

Said the Chinese Embassy: “Such practice goes against market economy rules and the WTO principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination. It is a blatant act of bullying, to which both China and Jamaica should firmly oppose.”

The Chinese Embassy said the US was in no position to point fingers at China or Chinese enterprises with regard to threatening other countries’ national security as Chinese enterprises “have been cooperating with local partners all over the world”. 

“There has not been a single cybersecurity incident like those revealed by Edward Snowden or WikiLeaks. Not a single tapping or surveillance operation like PRISM, Equation Group or ECHELON has there been. Furthermore, not a single country has produced evidence of so-called threatening national security by products and services provided by Chinese companies,” the Embassy said.

“China believes that all countries, regardless of size, have the right to independently develop foreign relations based on their own interests. Attempts to prevent countries from carrying out normal exchanges and cooperation through pressure and coercion will not succeed and will end up becoming a laughing stock of the international community.”

“People can tell right from wrong. We are convinced that no one will be fooled by Ambassador Tapia’s allegations which are nothing but deceiving himself and fawning on somebody at home,”

Chinese Embassy in Kingston

The Chinese Embassy said China and Jamaica were strategic partners and that, over the years, the two nations had developed good relations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and engage in friendly cooperation on the basis of consultation and mutual benefit.

“People can tell right from wrong. We are convinced that no one will be fooled by Ambassador Tapia’s allegations which are nothing but deceiving himself and fawning on somebody at home,” the Chinese Embassy stated in a thinly veiled reference to US President Donald Trump, who has long been at loggerheads with the Chinese government.

Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi is greeted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the Office of the Prime Minister shortly after taking up duties on the island in 2018. (Photo: Twitter)

“The mutually beneficial cooperation and the friendship between the Chinese and Jamaican enterprises and people have laid a solid foundation for the development of bilateral relations. We support the joint efforts of business community and people from all walks of life in both countries to continuously enhance mutual understanding, foster friendship and deepen cooperation so as to accumulate more positive energy for the improvement and development of China-Jamaica strategic relations.” 

The Chinese Embassy said it encouraged the US ambassador to “focus on his own business and matters at home with gross racial injustices, the spike in COVID-19 cases and the contracting economy”.

The embassy added: “If he really cares about the development of Jamaica, it would bode well for him to do something about it and stop spreading rumors and creating trouble. For the sake of members of diplomatic corps, we wish the sense of reason and justice soon come to Ambassador Tapia.”


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