Bird unsettled by recent MoU’s with China and asks what almost-broke Antigua and Barbuda has to offer

Sean Bird, the United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St.
John’s Rural East, is expressing trepidation about the recent
bilateral agreements the Government has entered into with the
People’s Republic of China.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Gaston Browne led a delegation into
high-level meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping; and Bird
believes that Browne has given Antigua and Barbuda over to the
Communist country. 
He notes that China had a desire to recolonize some Pacific nations,
but was rejected in its attempts.  However, Bird says, it appears that

the Browne Administration has fallen victim to this strategy by
accepting certain offers from the Chinese Government. 

Meanwhile, Bird is asking what Antigua and Barbuda – a country
that is on the brink of being broke – can offer China.
He points out that the Chinese are not foolish, and there could be
more behind these agreements than even the Browne
Administration realizes.

The Rural East caretaker says he recognises that China has been a
good friend to Antigua and Barbuda over the years – including in the
granting of concessionary loans – but at what cost to this country, he
In his opinion, Bird says, Antigua and Barbuda is a geographical
goldmine for China.

That was Sean Bird, UPP caretaker for St. John’s Rural East.

Some 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed between
China and Antigua and Barbuda in areas that include climate
change; mutual visa exemptions; water rehabilitation; support for
the Antigua and Barbuda Brodcasting Station (ABS); and equipment
to enable cancer screening.

The UPP has noted that no mention of the China trip, nor of these
agreements with the Chinese Government, was made in either the
Throne Speech or the Budget Presentation delivered in December

Since these agreements could have very far-reaching implications
for Antigua and Barbuda, pundits agree that bilateral discussions
must have been taking place long before the end of 2023.
Accordingly, they regard these “secret discussions” and signed
Memoranda as “something we need to watch.”