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China Continues Push into the Caribbean

Posted: 9th August 2012
By: CHRIS
China Continues Push into the Caribbean

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held formal talks with China today in a meeting that is expected to further boost Beijing’s growing influence on the region.  There’s been no shortage of commentary on the burgeoning relationship between China and several countries in the Caribbean, which among many other projects includes the construction of stadiums in the Bahamas and Antigua & Barbuda, a school in Dominica, various commercial incentives and investments in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, and medical care in Guyana.

Analysis conducted using Recorded Future enables a quick understanding of Chinese activity in the Caribbean during just the last thirty days (see the live timeline view):

China Caribbean Timeline
Recent Chinese Activity in the Caribbean

And there’s more to the timeline than just an indication of the volume of action; investigation of several events depicted on the timeline shows the scope of Chinese projects. These investments range from construction to telecom to mining and would embed China in the region for years.

It’s not all been a fantastic success though. Recent reports include claims from Jamaica and Trinidad local business owners that “Chinese aid which is largely structured as commercial contracts has destroyed their business” due to a preferential awarding of contracts to Chinese business, and separately, investigations into the actions of a Chinese contractor in Jamaica revealing “suspicious discrepancies in relation to a US$400M contract.”

As made clear by the CELAC meeting, the economic activity isn’t absent a political bent. There has been a notable uptick of commentary from and related to Chinese leadership during recent months mentioning Caribbean nations as evidenced below (see if live here):

Chinese Politburo mentions related to the Caribbean

The long term impact remains unclear in these early stages, however developments in the region will be interesting to follow in parallel with China’s investments in Africa and the ongoing conflict over natural resources and territory in the South China Sea.

What do you think are the implications of Chinese activity in the Caribbean? Do you see these developments as a threat to US interests? Leave us a note below or register for a trial of Recorded Future to conduct your own news analysis on the subject.