Sino-Caribbean Relations in a Changing Geopolitical Sea

Scott MacDonald
Publication Date: 
December 1st, 2019

This article focuses on Chinese-Caribbean relations, which have been marked in the early twenty-first century by an increase in bilateral trade and Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region. The relationship has been generally positive for both sides. However, at the same time, there are areas of friction including charges of Chinese “neo-colonialism,” similar to those leveled against Chinese ventures elsewhere. My study of China’s relations entails case studies of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Jamaica, which I supplement with an examination of the Dominican Republic and Haiti’s political and economic relations with China. It shows most Caribbean countries have not noticeably changed their foreign or domestic policies because of their economic linkages with China, though there is variation in these countries’ specific responses to their economic ties with China, which is a function of diverse international and domestic economic and political variables. Regardless, Beijing’s views are given more consideration than previously. As noted in the article, China’s push into the Caribbean is increasingly resented by the United States and could play a role in bringing a New Cold War to the region. Rounding out the piece is a review of the diverse challenges facing COFDI in the Caribbean.

*****This article flowed from a special issue on Chinese FDI in Latin America organized by the Wong MNC Center. It is published in Journal of Chinese Political Science, Vol. 24, No. 4 (December 2019) and viewable at: Copyright remains with the original holders.