China Extends Reach in the Caribbean, Unsettling the U.S.
China has offered Jamaica loans and expertise to build miles of new highways. Throughout the Caribbean, it has donated security equipment to military and police forces, and built a network of Chinese cultural centers. And it has dispatched large shipments of test kits, masks and ventilators to help governments respond to the pandemic.
The initiatives are part of a quiet but assertive push by China in recent years to expand its footprint and influence in the region through government grants and loans, investments by Chinese companies, and diplomatic, cultural and security efforts.
But while governments in the region have welcomed Beijing’s interest, the Trump administration has viewed China’s growing presence — and its potential to challenge Washington’s influence in the region — with concern and suspicion.
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