“We Give Them What They Want, We Will Get What We Want”
This must have been the guiding thought for the Chinese strategy makers when it came to Caribbean foreign policy.
The Chinese are a deliberate people; we must understand that while Westerners make long range plans for 3 to 5 years; the Chinese make 100 year plans.
It is no secret that China is still a communist country ruled by an autocratic government that blatantly ignores human rights and transparent justice.
Most Caribbean politicians seem to forget this little known but well publicized fact. A high school student could conclude that if a country does not respect the basic human rights of its own people, it cannot respect the rights of any people.
It is easy to understand why the Chinese are firmly established in every country rich in commodities. China has the largest population and currently is the richest country in the world. They have embarked on a strategy of investing in any country by way of outright loans, direct investments and even multi-million dollar gifts.
The Chinese know that Westerners are materialistic souls. Money can buy almost anything in the West. Politicians want to make a difference in their country, they want to leave a legacy, and by ignoring everything else about the Chinese they can be successful. Their long term plans are but a couple months on the Chinese calendar. .
But here is the $64 dollar question: what does the Chinese want in the Caribbean?
Except for the oil and gas in Trinidad and Tobago the Caribbean is not big on commodities.
Why did the Chinese advance a 6.3 billon investment in the Caribbean islands last year? They are investing heavily in island countries like Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada, Costa Rica and Dominica. What do these islands have that the Chinese want?
Their investment in Latin America is even more significant. According to a China/Latin America report titled The New Bank in Town they have invested over $75 billion since 2005? In 2010 they have pledged to invest 37 billion. Why are they lending more than the World Bank, the Inter-American Bank and the US Import/Export banks combined?
In the case of Dominica it has been pointed out that as a UN General Assembly member, Dominica whenever it’s crucial that the China’s gets its way. That is the macro view; the bigger picture is that China understands the strategic importance of the Caribbean and the intangible benefits that can be derived from being a permanent partner with member states in the region.
From strictly a militaristic perspective, in his book the Art of War, Sun Tzu teaches; “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer”; China is 190 miles from the United States. Ironically there already exists a significant population of Chinese in America. How much closer can they get.
For sure, the Chinese is not revealing the details of their master plan.
According to Dennis C. Shea, Chairman of the U.S.-ChinaEconomic and Security Review Commission, “With China you have to be wary of possible policy goals behind the effort.”
OK so let’s get personal here, all we have been talking about is at the government level. Look out for the next post when we examine how the Chinese treat with the local population. You know how they stick together like white rice.
Clannish maybe but they support each other in their new homes away from home.
You wanna hear the sad part of this story. It does not matter, and they know, it does not matter that you know or I know or a million people in the world know; the plan has been executed and nothing can stop its unfolding.
Maybe, just maybe one day China will rule the world the way it now rules China. The central government will decide our official language. If they let us say anything. Our worlds are changing right before our very eyes and few of us recognize or can see the changes.
Stay tuned to the Caribbean Blogger.