Leader of the Opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton has made it clear that his party held no discussion or dialogue on alleged corruption in Dominica with any Chinese official during a recent trip to China.
He spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.
Linton headed a seven-member UWP delegation to Beijing at the invitation of the Communist Party of China where they spent 10 days.
“We did not focus at all on the Dominica situation..,” he stressed. “Regarding China on this trip, we had absolutely no discussions, no dialogue at all with any official in China about corruption in Dominica.”
He stated the China trip was not to discuss such matters.
“That is not what we went there for but there will be a time and place in the future for those kinds of engagements if the government does not desist from the practices that it is now engaged in,” he stated.
According to Linton, the UWP team did not believe that during the trip, “it was our business to get involved in those aspects of government because there were more important things for us to do in terms of establishing a relationship.”
Lennox stated further that his party did not wash any “dirty linen” of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) in Beijing.
“We did not do that,” he remarked.
However, at the press conference, Linton called on the DLP to issue a statement on China’s anti-corruption campaign.
“We also call on the ruling Dominica Labour Party to issue an unequivocal statement in the support of China’s comprehensive anti-corruption campaign as an example of the seriousness with which governments around the world must act to prevent state resources from being plundered for private gain,” he noted.
Linton said the UWP team engaged the ruling party and government officials in China on a number of matters of mutual development interest.
Among them are China-Caribbean relations, innovation driven development, education and training, sports and youth development, elderly care, renewable energy utilization and ICT and light manufacturing opportunities.
He also said the trip to China was not done to send a signal to any leader or political party.
“Nor was this an initiative to involve the parliamentary opposition in state to state matter normally handled by a sitting government,” Linton noted. “The objective was to explore opportunities for strengthening party capability for 1) better oversight of government and better representation of people while in opposition and 2) visionary, caring, competent, corruption-free leadership when the United Workers Party becomes government.”
He said the UWP looks forward to working with the ruling Communist Party of China in building better governance capacity to serve the people “who are the masters of their own fate.”
He thanked China’s ambassador to Dominica Lu Kun and his staff for the arrangement made for the trip.
The UWP team to China comprised of Lennox Linton, Ezekiel Bazil, Joshua Francis, Hector John, Danny Lugay, Felix Thomas and former UN Ambassador Crispin Gregoire.