Don't count me in with anti-Chinese lot
Below is my edited letter in response to Clinton Chin, a leading member of the local Chinese community in Montego Bay:
Best to you and all addressed in your communication, now copied to directors of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI). Your own recent efforts to involve the MBCCI in the twinning of Montego Bay with another city in China is commended.
With all dispatch, let me distance myself totally from the unkind sentiments reported in the Gleaner article 'MoBay Chamber of Commerce and Industry tells Chinese businesses to shape up or face a boycott', September 7, 2015. The totally negative representation of the Chinese community (even if they could be seen as one homogeneous group) is definitely not in keeping with my experience generally. More particularly, the opprobrium is not especial of any set of businesses in downtown Montego Bay.
Please convey to the honourable Chinese ambassador my deep apologies for the insensitivity of the comments in the article, and my sincere hope that the embarrassment caused and any wounds opened will be soothed and healed.
Having formally met the ambassador and interacted with him otherwise, I believe that he is genuine in his regard for all Jamaicans. He appears honest in his efforts to secure mutual benefit for his nationals and all Jamaicans and for same to happen in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Please convey this expression of regret to the honourable ambassador.
It is of significance that Yangsen Li, a Chinese national and member of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), was given the chamber's 2014 Award for Community Involvement and Contribution. Yangsen Li is being asked to continue his general participation in, and strong connection with, the MBCCI, and to help the administration to bridge the cultural and communication gap with the wider Chinese community.
Mr Li's individual gift of $250,000 to the chamber was used to assist Barracks Road Primary, an inner-city school, towards the expansion of its library facility.
Let us strengthen the common bonds we have as humans and citizens of Montego Bay and Jamaica; the common bonds we have as business people; and the common bonds we have in advancing respect for all, without regard to race.