Antigua St John's - Chairman of the opposition Antigua Labour Party, Gaston Browne, has issued a statement distancing the party from the Lone Wolf group of protestors, which has angered Chinese diplomatic officials due to the nature of its protests.
The group openly stated that while its membership comprises people who are supportive of the ALP, its actions are in no way sanctioned or encouraged by the party.
During one picket outside the Chinese Embassy on the Paradise View Road, the Lone Wolf protestors carried the flags of both Tibet and Taiwan, both of which are considered as rebellious but integral parts of China.
Browne said the statement is designed to remove any ambiguity that may have existed with regard to the ALP and its view of the People’s Republic of China.
“The Lone Wolf group has made a distinction that its members do not speak on behalf of the ALP, even though they may support the party. At our executive meeting last Friday, we discussed the matter and we feel that the party should make a commitment to the One China policy, and we wish to make it clear that the Lone Wolf group does not speak for or represent the ALP,” he declared.
The ALP chairman said the Lone Wolf group had a constitutional right to protest as it saw fit, but that it was important to make the distinction between them and the ALP.
“There is no conflict between the ALP and the Lone Wolf. I wish to make that clear. But equally it is also important to make clear the position of the party,” he noted.
In his statement Browne said the ALP did not support the protest against the government or the Chinese Embassy and he said the Chinese ambassador has already given a commitment to work along with the ALP on development projects for the country should the party win the next general elections.
The full statement follows;
June 4, 2012
Following a meeting of the Executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party on Friday 1st June, 2011, it was again confirmed that The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party does not support the protest action against the Government and Citizens of The People’s Republic of China, by the Lone Wolf protesters. The Antigua Labour Party remains firmly in support of the People’s Republic of China and its One China Policy.
Diplomatic Relations were established with the People’s Republic of China almost three decades ago by The Father of the Nation, Sir Vere C. Bird Sr., the then Prime Minister and Leader of The Antigua Labour Party. Sir Vere, in his wisdom, was amongst the first in the Eastern Caribbean to do so. Such was the foresight of our Great Leader at the time.
Since that time, the People’s Republic of China has advanced to become the World’s second largest economy and a very important developmental partner to our country. We wish to reassure Ambassador H.E Mr. Liu Hanming that we treasure the long standing and mutually beneficial relationship that exists between our countries, the Antigua Labour Party and the Communist Party of China.
Antigua & Barbuda has been the beneficiary of numerous developmental projects as a result of the establishment of this relationship and we are extremely grateful to the Government and People of China.
Finally, we commend Ambassador Liu Hanming for his contribution towards our country’s advancement and would like him to reassure his Government that, we anticipate that The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party will soon take over the Governance of Antigua and Barbuda when the next General Elections are called.
We therefore look forward to working closely with the Government and people of China and to strengthen the bonds of friendship that exist between both our countries.
Hon. Gaston Browne
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party
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