Why is the SN editor so bothered about the name Fuzhou Street when there is Delhi Street and Mandela Avenue?

Dear Editor,

I refer to the editorial ‘Fuzhou in Georgetown’, in the Sunday Stabroek, dated 20th November. Apparently the editorial targets the Georgetown City Council’s decision-making, yet the reputation of Chinese Embassy is collaterally damaged by the comments, which compels me to respond with the following points.

First, any person with a little knowledge about the history of Guyana understands that, as early as 1853, Chinese immigrants were admitted to the land of Guyana. Since then Chinese have become one of the six Guyanese ethnicities. Although the Chinese population in Guyana has dwindled over the years, Chinese are not strangers to this land. Many of those early Chinese immigrants called Fuzhou their home, a foreign name to the editor.  Editor, if you don’t have a problem with many place names in Georgetown, such as Delhi Street or Mandela Avenue, why are you so bothered by Fuzhou Street? Are you in ignorance of your country’s history, or are you discriminating against one of your ethnicities?

Second, one of Chinese Embassy’s policies is to encourage and support the friendly exchanges between China and Guyana, at a national as well as at local and grassroots levels. The sister city relationship between Georgetown and Fuzhou, now a capital city of Fujian Province in south-east China, forged years ago, is such an example. Through this relationship the two sides have had the opportunities to enhance mutual understanding, share their development experiences, and provide assistance to each other within their capacity when necessary. This kind of south-south cooperation relationship model benefits both parties. So what’s your ground for the attack?

Third, editor, when you judge the Chinese Embassy building as “supremely ugly”, you know nothing about what ugly means and bark up the wrong tree. The ugly thing is not the building. It is the small, unnamed street full of stinky mud, rampant mosquitoes, and the bushes which have taken over, on the one side of Embassy compound, before it was adopted as Fuzhou Street. Now part of it has been cleaned and beautified under funding from the Embassy. For we believe this is good for the environment of our residency as well as for the whole neighbourhood and community. In consultation with the city council and alone with other stakeholders we will continue our effort to help complete the beautification work of the remaining part of this street.

Thanks, and my sincere wish is that ‘shoot first, check facts later’ is not becoming your style of journalism.

Yours faithfully,

Yang Chenqi

Counsellor and Deputy Chief of

Mission

Chinese Embassy

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