“You need a new picture,” asserts the soft-spoken Chinese Ambassador Tian Qi, in the presence of a photograph of Ruel Reid, the embattled former education minister, hanging in the boardroom of the Montego Bay Community College (MBCC). That was not the remark of a careless diplomatic. It was a command made by a self-confident, powerful and secure diplomat who came to Montego Bay with a diplomatic pouch containing a demand of the Jamaican state to ‘protect the interest of our Chinese nationals’. This message marks the beginning of a new diplomatic relationship between Jamaica and the new imperialist on the block. The Chinese have arrived!
Today, the Chamber is neither fish nor fowl, pale and insignificant like characters in search of an author, a glorified service club, weak and ineffective, a poor and spurious replica of its former self. It has been reduced to a sycophant and a mouthpiece to assuage and stroke the ego of the ruling party.