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NDC sends party delegation to China

General Secretary of Congress Learrie Barry is a member of the delegation visiting China

A delegation from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party is currently in China on a visit at the invitation of the ruling Communist party of China.

Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the delegation includes the party’s recently re-elected General Secretary Learrie Barry.

No official announcement has been made by Congress about the trip to China.

There are reports that the NDC might seek assistance from the Chinese in building a planned party headquarters most likely in St David which is the constituency held in Parliament by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

According to a party official, Congress is presently looking at a number of sites in the parish to build the party head office.

He said the ruling party in Grenada is keen on turning St David’s into a fortress for Congress similar to St George North-west which has been in the hands of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell since the 1984 general election.

It’s the first trip to China by a team of officials from the NDC since it won the June 23, 2022 General Election by defeating the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The Communist party of China is known to have party-to-party relations with the two major parties in Grenada.

Speculation is rife that the Chinese have been showing preference with NNP rather than NDC in light of Dr. Mitchell’s bold decision to sever ties with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan in 2005 in favour of relations with the Mainland despite St George’s decision a few years earlier to deport the visiting Chinese ambassador then resident in Trinidad & Tobago.

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The ambassador had accepted an invitation to visit Grenada by then Opposition Leader Michael Baptiste but within hours was put on a plane at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) and ordered to leave the island.

The then Foreign Minister Elvin Nimrod told a local reporter that China was insensitive to send an ambassador to visit the island when the relationship was between Grenada and Taiwan.

The Chinese offered the Keith Mitchell-led NNP regime a package of assistance including millions to rebuild the National Sports stadium at Queen’s Park after the ravages of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, as well as assistance in the building of a low cost housing scheme.

After Dr. Mitchell lost the election in 2008 to Congress, several documents were found on the 6th Floor of the Office of the Prime Minister at the Ministerial Complex which showed that as part of the deal to sever ties with Taiwan, the then Prime Minister Keith Mitchell was able to get a grant of US$1 million from a Chinese businessman who was believed to be close to the communist rulers in Beijing to help fund a foundation that was set up in Grenada.

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