ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Lone Wolf group of protestors has not and would not be getting any response to the demands on the Chinese Embassy for, among other things, documentation supporting the procurement of the generators and auxiliaries for the controversial Chinese funded Wadadli Power Plant.
First Secretary and Deputy Head of the mission of the Chinese Embassy Madame Zhaofeng Wang said the embassy has “no comment” since the matters raised by the group are internal issues to be addressed by the parties to the contract.
“The embassy received a letter from Lone Wolf protestors. We have no comment. They have a right to say whatever they have to say but we have no comments about that. We have said what we should say to the public and the position of the Chinese government is quite clear; we do not accept any smear on the Chinese government,” Madam Wang said.
The officials also said, “We have never interfered in the internal affairs of Antigua & Barbuda and this is the foreign policy of China. It is a co-operation on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit.”
For the past two months, the group, led by Vere Bird III, has picketed outside the embassy; at a business owned by Ambassador to China David Shoul; and most recently, outside the residence of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.
The group has requested all details regarding the US $47 million loan from Exim Bank of China to Antigua & Barbuda “to avoid any suspicion” of corruption in face of information that suggests the engines are old, contrary to what was contracted for.
Several weeks ago the embassy criticised the Lone Wolf group’s use of the Tibetan and Chinese flags as part of its demonstrations and accused the group of meddling in Chinese internal affairs.
In turn, the group accused the Chinese officials of being the first to interfere in local matters.
The group charged that interference was demonstrated when embassy officials participated in a press conference to address the issue earlier this year when concerns were initially raised.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)