Pompeo: US wants to grow Guyana; says China’s money comes with strings

  • Don’t spread fake news  – Chinese Embassy

US State Secretary, Michael Pompeo yesterday said that China’s investments come with strings, but that the US brings Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that is clean, drawing the ire of the Chinese Embassy in Guyana, which urged Pompeo not to spread fakes news.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

“The United States model is to build out on the best things of your country,” He said. “We’ll show up, we’ll bring capital, we’ll bring resources, we’ll often bring technological capabilities that are much needed to develop resources, develop infrastructure for your country, but we don’t do so with political strings tied to them. We don’t operate the way other regimes do, who might show up with money and then demand political retribution, or worse yet, engage in activity that is corrupt.”         

Making his case under State House’s Baridi Benab, the Secretary rejected any assertion that US investments are a threat to Guyana’s sovereignty.

In a separate interview with Leeron Brumell of the National Communications Network (NCN), Pompeo said he talks to American private sector leaders all the time about how they can invest in overseas markets in a manner that is fair and transparent, so they can in turn build their business in the United States. The Secretary posited that he thinks countries understand that America doesn’t ask for much, besides a fair shot at the competition, rule of law, enforceable contracts and a set of property rights.
He opted not to comment on Guyana’s deal for operations in the Stabroek Block, as one journalist had asked whether the deal could be considered fair. Pompeo said the negotiations are between Guyana and Exxon, and that he and the President didn’t even discuss ExxonMobil.

“We don’t apply political pressure connected to our commercial enterprises. There are other nations that operate very differently.”
He pointed to China, in this regard.

“China operates very differently. The Chinese Communist Party shows up with its military and commercial deeply intertwined.”
He noted that China expects countries to accept Chinese tenders for projects, and opined that it’s a form of pressure on governments. The US, on the other hand, hires local skill, Pompeo said, adding that American companies are great environmental stewards.

The two economic powerhouses appear locked in a battle over who should extend more aid and influence in the Caribbean region. While the US and Guyana signed bilateral agreements signaling heavy US investments into Guyana’s energy and related sectors, the People’s Republic of China already received Guyana’s signature in 2018 on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for participation in the controversial Belt & Road Initiative.

In a statement just hours after Pompeo made his remarks, the Chinese Embassy condemned him, urging that he make no further utterances which could tarnish his image. The Embassy said that China develops relations with Caribbean countries like Guyana under principles of mutual respect, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation.

“China attaches no political strings in bilateral pragmatic cooperations,” it stated, “which bring tangible benefits to countries and peoples in the region. This is an objective fact that anyone without prejudice will admit.”

As for the US, China said the country has abused the concept of national security to oppress foreign companies, alluding to recent action by the US to suppress the Tik Tok smartphone application, which it worries is Chinese spyware.

“The US has not only violated market principles and international rules,” China said, “but also negated the principles of market economy and fair competition that it has been priding itself on. We hope that all countries work together to promote a fair, just, open, non-discriminatory business environment.”

A Reuters report notes that a similar exchange was made between Pompeo and China during his earlier visit to Suriname.

“We’ve watched the Chinese Communist Party invest in countries, and it all seems great at the front end and then it all comes falling down when the political costs connected to that becomes clear,” Pompeo is quoted as saying.
The Chinese Embassy there responded swiftly, saying that Pompeo is attempting to sow discord between China and Guyana’s immediate neighbour to the East. It urged Pompeo to stop spreading rumours about China.

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On September 19, 2020 at 2:14 am

    US moves to increase influence in Guyana’s energy sector
    Sep 19, 2020 News

    Following his engagement with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, President Irfaan Ali announced yesterday that the USA and Guyana will be deepening bilateral relations in the energy sector. Expanding further, the Head of State said that a framework agreement towards this end was signed between the U.S. Government and the Government of Guyana to strengthen energy and infrastructure finance and market building cooperation in the context of the Growth in the Americas initiative. Ali said this agreement will stimulate the enhancement of the business environment for U.S. private sector investment in Guyana, particularly in the fields of energy, both unrenewable and renewables, and infrastructure.

    Ali said, too, that the agreement will pave the way for the U.S. private sector to expand their investment portfolio and partner with the Guyanese private sector. Ali said, “This partnership will help to meet our broader infrastructure and downstream development needs and, by extension, drive economic growth and development as well as job creation.”

    The oil and gas industry is usually divided into three major sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream. The upstream sector includes searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling exploratory wells, and subsequently drilling and operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil or raw natural gas to the surface.

    While Guyana is still at this stage, the Ali administration has signaled by way of this agreement with the USA, that it will be taking Guyana into the downstream sector too. This industry includes the refining of petroleum crude oil and the processing and purifying of raw natural gas as well as the marketing and distribution of products derived from crude oil and natural gas.

    Research also indicates that the downstream sector reaches consumers through products such as gasoline or petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel oil, heating oil, fuel oils, lubricants, waxes, asphalt, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as hundreds of petrochemicals.

  • kamtanblog  On September 19, 2020 at 3:09 am

    Absolute BS !
    Every “gold digger” wants Guyana’s “black
    gold”…oil glorious oil !
    The “gold rush” is on !
    Regulation regulation regulation !
    Way forward….controlled/monitored
    production/price ! Not rocket science.

    Anti corruption laws playing catch up !

    In my opinion

    Kamtan-uk-ex-EU

  • Leslie Chin  On September 19, 2020 at 4:28 am

    It would be a good thing if the US were to annex Guyana

    . We would be protected from Venezuelan, Cuban and Chinese aggression
    . We would have a ready market for our raw materials – oil, bauxite, lumber, sugar
    . We have a history of dealing with the Americans. They built Atkinson Field now Cheddi Jagan International Airport and Moukouria Naval Base (opposite Bartica)
    during WW2
    . We use 60 cycles, 120 V in some parts of the country
    . We speak English
    . Guyanese have emigrated in droves to the US

  • kamtanblog  On September 19, 2020 at 4:54 am

    Les
    Good points !
    Partly agree…
    Q
    Can Guyana trust USA or China ?
    Or better do they trust either hidden agendas
    as super powers ?
    My answer is NO they cannot !
    History repeats itself !
    We must forgive but never forget.
    The tiger never changes its spots !

    Will China adopt similar hedgemony policies ?

    More questions than answers.

    Kamtan

  • Trinity  On September 19, 2020 at 8:02 am

    I would like to err on the side of the US. Pompeo is absolutely right about China. He speaks from a North American perspective regarding China. China wants to have a hand in every “pot around the world”. Their aids do come with strings attached. China will lend money to nations that they know they cannot repay the loans then eventually own the country. I speak as a Guyanese living in North America.
    Caution to the Guyana government: it’s better to do South America business – North America business. Leave the Asians out of your business. Their aids come with hefty unrepayable interests.

    • Chris Prashad  On September 19, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      I totally agree with you. Never trust the Chinese. There is always a hidden agenda. I warned the President about this several times but will he listen to the little man ?? Only time will tell.

      • kamtanblog  On September 19, 2020 at 12:32 pm

        Simple Simon says
        Trust neither USA or CHINA or any other
        “Super power” with their hidden agendas.
        Transparency and accountability way forward.
        In a democracy that is the minimum expected
        ..debated/discussed in parliament before any
        signature to any agreements.
        Parliament having final say on matters of
        national interest.

        QED

        Kamtan

  • brandli62  On September 19, 2020 at 11:23 am

    While not friend of the current US administration, Pompeo is right in pointing out China’s true motives in getting countries to sign MoU for participation in its Road & Belt Initiative. The experiences in Africa and South Asia have demonstrated that the R&V Initiative is meant to have Chinese companies built infrastructure in low and medium income countries that are financed by Chinese government loan, which have to be repaid at market interest rates. No freebees are given. Sri Lanka had to learn the hard way. It had a new harbor built by Chinese companies, which is poorly used. Once they were not able to pay back the loans, they were forced to lease the entire harbour for 99-years to China. The whole story reminds me of the New Territory Deal the British Empire did with Imperial China at the end of the 19th century to extend Hong Kong’s territory for 99 years…. Are we back to new form of colonialism?

  • brandli62  On September 19, 2020 at 11:30 am

    On a separate note, I would like to draw attention to the following state of the Chinese Embassy:

    As for the US, China said the country has abused the concept of national security to oppress foreign companies, alluding to recent action by the US to suppress the Tik Tok smartphone application, which it worries is Chinese spyware.

    “The US has not only violated market principles and international rules,” China said, “but also negated the principles of market economy and fair competition that it has been priding itself on. We hope that all countries work together to promote a fair, just, open, non-discriminatory business environment.”

    The hypocrisy in the statement is so obvious to the informed reader. First, China asks for marks principles and international rules to apply externally. Interestingly enough, it does not grant the seem principles and rules to companies that want to operate in China. Second, calling the US out for banning apps like TikTok and WeChat as an abuse is ludicrous in light that China bans in its own territory the use of Youtube, Google, and many other apps. In addition, access to essential all Western news media sites is not possible, if you are living in China.

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 19, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    brandi62 Questioned: ARE WE BACK TO A NEW FORM OF COLONIALISM?

    I believe Frederick Douglass posited an answer right here on Guyanese Online.

    ‘A Treacherous President Stood in the Way’ – Frederick Douglass | The Atlantic

    Frederick Douglass’s 1866 essay for The Atlantic

    The arm of the Federal government is long, but it is far too short to protect the rights of individuals in the interior of distant States. They must have the power to protect themselves, or they will go unprotected, in spite of all the laws the Federal Government can put upon the national statute-book.

    Slavery, like all other great systems of wrong, founded in the depths of human selfishness, and existing for ages, has not neglected its own conservation.

    It has steadily exerted an influence upon all around it favorable to its own continuance. And today it is so strong that it could exist, not only without law, but even against law.

    Custom, manners, morals, religion, are all on its side everywhere in the South; and when you add the ignorance and servility of the ex-slave to the intelligence and accustomed authority of the master, you have the conditions, not out of which slavery will again grow, but under which it is impossible for the Federal government to wholly destroy it, unless the Federal government be armed with despotic power, to blot out State authority, and to station a Federal officer at every cross-road.

    This, of course, cannot be done, and ought not – even if it could.

    Posted in Guyanese Online: 18 Aug 2017

    • Brother Man  On September 19, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Let me tell you all something:

      I don’t trust the Americans. I don’t trust Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration. If anyone of you think he was in Guyana because he cares about Guyanese, I got a condo for rent on the Moon.

      The PPP better take off their dunce cap.

      Brother Man

      • kamtanblog  On September 20, 2020 at 2:26 am

        Pompey punn is but a tool of American imperialism ! Not unlike ex british empiral
        ambitions of colonisation. Isn’t it an irony that USA chose “republicanism” post British imperialism ? Hypocracy !
        Today we are witnessing China’s imperical ambitions….under guise of
        infrastructure development…wolf in sheep clothing.
        Guyana and Guyanese beware and be aware. Silk Road initiatives.
        Reminder…
        Gooogle BRICS FMI

        Tolerate USA …better devil 👿 you know !

        Kamtan-uk-ex-EU

    • brandli62  On September 22, 2020 at 6:42 am

      @Clyde: Many thanks for posting this lovely essay of timeless truth written by Frederic Douglass more than 150 years! It’s a jewel!

  • Winston  On September 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    China comes with strings and America with rope!!!!

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