Articles / Opinion Editorials archives

chinaus image description
Jan 25, 2014 0 Comments

China Comes to the Caribbean Articles / Opinion Editorials

Authors: FERNANDO MENÉNDEZ

Since China’s emergence on the global scene the pursuit of its strategic goals has led to speculation, especially concerning how and why it exercises its growing financial and economic power.  Its ability to promote trade, provide easy loans, grants and investments has led some to ask whether China is engaging in a modern day version of dollar diplomacy.  The similarities and differences from previous efforts at dollar diplomacy provide some useful lessons.

Continue Reading »

chinaus image description
Jan 25, 2014 0 Comments

China comes to the Caribbean Articles / Opinion Editorials

Authors: FERNANDO MENÉNDEZ

Since China’s emergence on the global scene the pursuit of its strategic goals has led to speculation, especially concerning how and why it exercises its growing financial and economic power.  Its ability to promote trade, provide easy loans, grants and investments has led some to ask whether China is engaging in a modern day version of dollar diplomacy.  The similarities and differences from previous efforts at dollar diplomacy provide some useful lessons. 

The original dollar diplomacy promoted by William Howard Taft and his secretary of state P.C. Knox encouraged US investments, commercial and financial involvement in the Americas, but also used this financial power as a diplomatic and political weapon.  

At its worst, dollar diplomacy was the thin wedge of a long history of US intervention by force in the internal affairs of countries in Central American and the Caribbean.  Nor was it always beneficial to US investors some of whom were defrauded as they were encouraged to purchase large amounts of foreign bonds on which issuing countries had defaulted. 

China may now be exercising its economic power in the Caribbean but it would be a stretch to call it dollar diplomacy in its original form.  Instead, a more thorough assessment of China’s interests and objectives in the region may be in order. 

Continue Reading »