Celestial Empire

December 29, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Ricardo Swire

On Tuesday March 15th 2016 the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) and the Peoples Liberation Army of China signed a multi-million dollar military agreement. The diplomatic protocol signaled another Chinese special equipment contribution to the BDF arsenal.

The Celestial Empire’s government has a track record of military equipment donations to Barbados, but this single US$3 million donation registers as the island’s largest from China to date.

In April 2012 the Celestial Empire announced loans to Caribbean governments worth US$6.3 billion, financial assistance that added to credits, grants and other forms of economic support channeled to regional islands. The Caribbean mainly benefits from long term economic tourism and financial loans, unlike Africa and South America where China’s search for commodity markets is the motivation.

Beijing’s economic might and prowess manifest in almost every part of the globe. Yet China’s Caribbean flag planting, on America’s third border, has resulted in raised political eyebrows. The future East Asian superpower has suavely secured partisan support from a bloc of developing countries, with anemic budgets that once relied exclusively on America, Canada and Europe. A Dominican grammar school, renovated hospital and constructed sports stadium, bear testimony of significant Chinese financial investment in the Caribbean.

Antigua & Barbuda’s power plant, cricket stadium and additional school were all bankrolled with Chinese yuan. The dynasty of Trinidad & Tobago’s (T&T) Prime Ministers enjoy their official residence’s pristine craftsmanship provided by the Celestial Empire’s contractors. The Bahamas received several lucrative financial agreements, related to major infrastructure and tourism projects, worth US$164.3 million, contracts such as the investment framework for Baha Mar mega-resort on New Providence.

A Chinese US$35 million grant to construct the Bahamas national stadium was another notable offshore investment. China’s Exim Bank loan valued US$58 million with a two percent interest rate, invested to construct a highway from Lynden Pindling International Airport to downtown Nassau. China’s US$2.7 billion, worth of commercial loans investment, is another offshore transfer that should not be overlooked. Strategically, only one hundred and eighty-two miles separate Nassau, Bahamas from Miami, Florida.

The US$30 million Thomas A Robinson National Sports Stadium was Celestial Empire’s largest construction undertaking in the Bahamas. After two years of building the “Queen Elizabeth Sports Center” prominently occupies thirty-six thousand square meters of the island and seats a maximum of twenty-three thousand patrons. The Sports Center Redevelopment Project’s flagship represents the Bahamas sports development’s single largest historical investment.

In September 2011 a US$1 billion loan to Caribbean countries for economic development and a US$6.3 million CARICOM Development Fund donation represented Chinese money. In 2015 international experts estimated US$1 trillion or yuan 6,946,420,000,000 poured out of China. Trends show the Peoples Liberation Army of China’s US$3 million donation to the BDF and other large sums of cash flow, out of China’s slowing economy, will intensify. Beijing manages a sizable stash of US currency reserves, routinely used by Celestial Empire to fend off devaluation pressure on its yuan/renminbi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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