The following was written in February of 2006, but I just came across it. Some of our readers were recently talking about the invasion of Grenada, and I thought this might be of interest.
Here’s a sample of the article. You can find the full piece at National Review Online (link here)
What should we do to counter China’s moves in the Caribbean? First, we must stop taking the region for granted, reacting only after the fact, as we did after a communist coup in Grenada in 1983. That crisis, it is well to recall, would have been much worse if other Caribbean nations had not taken a firm stand against the Russian and Cuban-supported coup, and voted in favor of U.S. intervention. Would the new crop of politicians, so assiduously courted by China, come down on our side in the event of a similar problem?
To put it another way, can we allow China, an up-and-coming superpower, to replace the U.S. as the predominant political influence in the region? Opening embassies in each of these states, so that we are in a position to make America’s case directly to local government officials, is essential. Thwarting China’s efforts to buy friends and influence governments requires not just foreign aid — although this should be increased — but private investment as well. Increasingly, foreign investment is coming from everywhere but the United States. A Free Trade Zone for the West Indies would be a good first step toward fixing this.
China has a long history of establishing tributary relationships between it and lesser states, supporting local tyrants in return for their allegiance. While we work to bring transparency and openness to China, we don’t want China to bring corruption and deception to existing democracies and international organizations. The Caribbean can’t wait.
From NRO’s Red China On The March