Representatives from China and Dominica put pen to paper on a multi-million dollar investment deal last month in what observers are calling a virtual takeover of the Caribbean island. Here’s the story:
Dominica and China have signed a new 300 million dollars cooperation agreement that includes the construction of a hotel, construction of an international airport and building a new hospital. The sum involved is equivalent to a third of the small Caribbean island GDP, which could mean Beijing virtually is “purchasing” the small territory.
Call it the Caribbean arm of China’s “cabbage” strategy. And Dominica is not the first such country to catch China’s eye. While Washington’s attention has been on trouble spots like Syria and Iran, Chinese companies are engaged in huge construction projects and state-to-state investment and diplomacy all across America’s back yard. Jamaica, for example, recently tied up a $300 million loan from China to improve the island’s infrastructure, and in Nicaragua, a Chinese company plans to dig a massive canal to rival the one in Panama. It’s hardly a powerful counter-move to America’s pivot to Asia, but it’s an interesting trend to watch nonetheless.