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Monday 20 November 2017
Politics

PM not off to China, yet

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will not go to China to meet President Xi Jinping at month-end, said a statement from the Ministry of the Attorney-General yesterday. This disclosure scotched last Thursday’s statement by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young that Rowley had accepted an invitation to Beijing among a group of ten world leaders for high-level talks, and would then conduct a State visit to other areas of China.

“On November 14 (Chinese) Ambassador Song Yumin paid a visit to Minister Stuart Young at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs and officially discussed with Minister Young that the Chinese, attaching great importance to the development of the relations between China and Trinidad and Tobago, would like to invite the Honourable Prime Minister to pay an Official Visit to China next year, replacing the invitation of the High-Level meetings mentioned above, in order to strengthen bilateral activities and relations,” said yesterday’s statement.

“Accordingly, the Chinese have rescheduled the Honourable Prime Minister’s visit to China and are now working with Trinidad and Tobago to plan an official visit to China next year.”

Naparima MP Rodney Charles told Newsday the details of the cancellation of this visit were not clear. “This is another case of obfuscation, lack of clarity and trying to hoodwink the population,” Charles said. “We just have to come to our own conclusions, but should not have to do so.” He hit Rowley for also missing three United Nations General Assembly meetings, and a 2015 Paris Climate Change meeting, even as TT is now unrepresented at the COP 23 Climate Change conference in Bonn, Germany, the latter likely to affect TT’s hydrocarbon-based economy.

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