The new turn given by the international policy of the government of President Luis Abinader presents the Dominican Republic with a change of model in its relations with important nations, such as China, Haiti and the Arab countries.
Since his inauguration speech on August 16, where he avoided referring to China, President Abinader has given clear signals of the dependence that the Caribbean country has on the United States as its main trading partner, and the need to strengthen strategic relations with the colossus of the north.
The president’s decision has implied a distancing from the Asian giant that disputes with the United States the hegemony of the global economy, and which is a consumer with the most growing demand for products, due to its population of around 1,400 million inhabitants.
The Dominican Republic and China established diplomatic relations in 2018, amid high expectations from the government of Danilo Medina, who visited Beijing to meet with his counterpart Xi Jinping in November of that year. Numerous agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed before the watchful eye of Washington, which immediately called its diplomatic representative for consultations.
Change of course
“If China wants to invest in non-strategic areas of the Dominican Government, its investment is welcome, but the decision of the Dominican Government is to have a strategic alliance with the United States,” President Abinader made clear, warning that he will not allow the Asian country to invest. in telecommunications, ports and airports.
Chinese businessmen had expressed interest in investing in the important Manzanilo Bay port, Monte Cristi; facial recognition camera for the security system, power plants, tourism and civil aviation, when the agreements were signed with the Medina government, amid the paraphernalia.
Problems with Haiti
Another diplomatic issue that raises a conflictive situation for President Abinader, and that has caused stinging to the Dominican governments since their Independence in 1844, is the bilateral relationship with Haiti, a nation with which the island of Hispaniola shares.
The president’s language has changed since he assumed power, when he favored continuing to strengthen the instruments for a good neighborhood and promoting comprehensive development of the border.
On the contrary, yesterday Abinader affirmed during an interview in English in the Woodrow Wilson International Center program, that the situation in Haiti is one of the main problems for the Dominican Government, and that the lack of stability in the neighboring country, its poverty, state crisis and people in the streets is a difficult situation to control, while the Haitian government, led by Jovenel Moise, lacks strength.
He censored that the number of Haitian women who come to the country to give birth, due to the economic and social situation that Haiti is facing, is directly affecting the budget of the Dominican Government. He also complained that protecting the border is very expensive.
In addition, on the 8th of this month he had expressed that the Republic of Haiti represents a great problem for the Dominican Republic and for the region in general.
The president took up the speech of Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez, who, before the United Nations Security Council, said that there can be no Dominican solution to the crisis in Haiti.
Abinader has also made it clear that his Government will work for the Dominicans and not to solve the problems of Haitians residing in the national territory. “What we have here is to comply with the law, Haitians who come to the Dominican Republic have to come with a work permit and comply with the law and after they finish that job they have to return to their country,” he said in an interview. on CNN.
Open up with Arabs
The government could also be on the verge of opening a dangerous front with Middle Eastern countries, informing that it is studying the possibility of moving the headquarters of the Dominican embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem, where there is a conflict. war over the dispute between Jews backed by the United States, and Palestinians who are supported by other Arab countries in the region.
The Dominican Foreign Ministry said yesterday in an official communication that relations with the Jewish people date back to the 15th century.
United States and Haiti
In Abinader’s inauguration ceremony, special treatment was noted for the Secretary of the US Department of State, Mike Pompeo and the discreet place to which the Chinese ambassador, Zhang Run, was relegated.
Haiti has just increased the collection of tariffs to US $ 800 for merchandise entering from the Dominican Republic.