Cartoon By: Dick Wright, The Gwinnett Daily Post, OH
For example look at Grenada, after Hurricane Ivan 2004 Grenada barely had a house which was not affected the storm, most of the crop â€“bearing vegetation lay flattened and Grenadians where about to receive another blow from Hurricane Emily just a few weeks later.
Itâ€™s just less than three years since the hurricane, Grenada even managed to host part of the region’s biggest sporting event ever, the World Cup of Cricket, in a spanking new stadium.
How did they do it?
The answer is a mix of high politics, globalization and a healthy sense of humor 😆 .
Until 2004, Grenada was one of the last countries to recognize Taiwan, which had, among other things, helped to finance the national stadium that was supposed to host the WCC, but was ruined by Ivan.
Disappointed by Taiwan’s initial offer of help in the wake of Ivan, Grenada’s Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell made a surprise visit to Beijing and landed a Chinese pledge not only to foot the bill for a new stadium, but also to provide much of the workforce. A Chinese crew of 500 working around the clock for a year.
Left in the dust, Taiwan is now suing Grenada for allegedly defaulting on its loans.
Others in the West Indies, including Jamaica, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, also got into the game and benefited from Beijing’s largesse. Meanwhile, for good measure, St. Vincent, Nevis and St. Kitts, and St. Lucia extended their hats to Taiwan in exchange for a handful of UN votes.
This dizzying succession of diplomatic pirouettes is typical of a broader trend that has seen many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, much to their benefit, play the two Chinas off against each other.
In this game of high politics, it seems that the smaller the country, the bigger the rewards.
Whatâ€™s in it for China, besides a few UN votes? But when look at the broader context; itâ€™s clear that this was an opportunity for China to showcase its engineering know-how and offshore construction.
Dominica is also a part of the China VS. Taiwan game and have cash-out with a new stadium and maybe a few future projects like the highway from Roseau to Portsmouth. It makes me wonder what else is in it for China. Is China trying to become a world powerhouse like the U.S and Russia?