[NTDTV, Beijing, April 30, 2022]On April 29, the Chinese Communist Party held a virtual meeting with foreign ministers from the nine Caribbean countries that have established diplomatic relations with it. China has announced an aid fund for Caribbean countries in an attempt to expand its political and economic influence in the strategic region.
The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. Nine Caribbean countries: Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda (Anba), Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, The foreign ministers of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados participated in the meeting.
Wang Yi declared at the meeting that China will continue to provide Caribbean countries with economic and technical assistance “without attaching any political conditions”, including anti-epidemic materials and vaccines, more government scholarships, and promoting projects and practical technologies related to people’s livelihood. and the establishment of the China-Caribbean Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Fund.
The Caribbean Sea is located between the southeastern United States and South America, surrounded by several major shipping lanes, and the western Caribbean Sea is connected to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal. The meeting underscored China’s desire to expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere.
R. Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American studies at the Strategic Studies Institute at the United States Army War College, wrote in a 2020 report that the Caribbean is the OAS and other regional institutions, which “increases its strategic value to China, which has been trying to influence multilateral diplomacy in the region”.
The Caribbean Sea is also a key diplomatic battleground between China and Taiwan. Four of Taiwan’s 14 remaining diplomatic allies are in the region, and Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama have also severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in recent years.
According to the Inter-American Dialogue, a well-known American think tank, by 2021, China has provided as much as $4.156 billion in low-interest loans to nine Caribbean countries. This includes a $2.1 billion loan to Jamaica for the construction of new roads, bridges, convention centers and children’s hospitals.
During a hearing on March 31, U.S. lawmakers were told that since 2015, China and Caribbean heads of state have met 44 times and that China’s total trade with Latin America has increased from $18 billion in 2002 to $18 billion in 2020. $318 billion.
Over the past 20 years, China has invested more than $160 billion in the region. Of the 31 countries, 25 are participating in CCP-backed infrastructure projects.
To counter China’s influence, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “American Competition Act of 2022,” which includes $67.5 million for military training in Latin America and the Caribbean and $500 million for countering Chinese propaganda.
(Comprehensive report by reporter Li Zhaoxi/responsible editor: Lin Qing)
URL of this article: http://cn.ntdtv.com/gb/2022/04/30/a103414227.html