Dominica News Online has been reliably informed that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit will be among Caribbean leaders set to meet the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, who will be arriving in Trinidad on Friday evening.
Although there has been no official statement from the government, a source revealed that at least eight heads of government, including Skerrit, will be meeting with Xi.
The Trinidad government said Xi will meet with a collection of Caribbean leaders on Sunday, but only those whose countries have diplomatic relations with Beijing.
According to reports the Prime Ministers of Belize (Dean Barrow), St Vincent and the Grenadines (Dr Ralph Gonsalves), St Lucia (Dr Kenny Anthony) and St Kitts and Nevis (Dr Denzil Douglas) will not be at the meeting because they continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, deemed by Beijing as a “renegade province” of China.
The CARICOM Secretariat is not involved in the arrangements for the meeting to be held in Port of Spain, unlike the just-ended official visit by United States Vice-President Joe Biden to Trinidad and Tobago.
Skerrit did not attend that meeting and Dominica was represented by Agriculture Minister, Matthew Walter.
According to the Trinidad Express, China “is said to be keen in encouraging support for this region’s involvement in plans by the BRIC bloc of countries for establishment of a new financial institution to boost economic development outside of the roles being played by, for instance, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.”
BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Xi will be in Trinidad for three days and this will be the first visit to the Caribbean by a Chinese president.