U.S. Lawmakers Urge Action Over China in the Caribbean: ‘Alarm Bells’


SOURCE: NEWSWEEK- The United States must do more to block fast-growing Chinese influence in the Caribbean and Latin America, two prominent members of Congress told Newsweek after its report on China’s extensive involvement on the island of Antigua.

“The alarm bells are ringing over China’s increased presence in our hemisphere,” Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), a member of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and the Select Committee on Intelligence told Newsweek by email.

China’s push into the strategically important region through diplomacy, loans, grants and investments posed economic and security challenges for the U.S. and it should be met in kind, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told Newsweek in a telephone interview.

Krishnamoorthi is the Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

The members of Congress were responding to reporting by Newsweek that documented the signing of a private deal in January for a new Chinese “Special Economic Zone” with exceptional privileges, a new airline to serve the zone, and a clutch of new agreements including one for Antiguan officials to study Chinese leader Xi Jinping‘s thoughts on governance and another for China to help rebuild Antigua’s water piping system. The article also quoted concerns from the U.S. military‘s Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) over China’s expanding presence in the region.Sign up for Newsletter

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The Antiguan government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that there was no cause for concern at the deepening relationship between Antigua and China. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Antigua, Pang Qingjie, said China’s cooperation with Antigua was in the interests of the Antiguan people.

On his regular radio show last Saturday, Browne said that ties between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States were close. He highlighted the importance of U.S. investments and the country’s reliance on tourism from the U.S., but he also noted that China was the “most important developmental partner.” 

Both Waltz and Krishnamoorthi said America’s 19th century Monroe Doctrine should be renewed as part of more vigorous U.S. engagement in the region. That policy held that any intervention in the political affairs of a state in the Americas by foreign powers was a potentially hostile act and that the U.S. would protect its sphere of interest.

“I’m not saying that other countries should not participate in our hemisphere with countries here in Latin America. These are all sovereign nations that get to decide their own relationships,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“However, in doing so, they should be well aware of the risks and entanglements associated with the CCP,” which he called “the ultimate predator creditor.”

China is Antigua’s biggest lender nation, Browne told Newsweek, without giving figures.

An expanded U.S. presence should include meeting a request for more funding from SOUTHCOM, the Southern Command that is based in Florida, Krishnamoorthi said.

“I think one thing they requested was more funding to be able to participate in, and basically getting to know their neighbors, being available to help them as needed, identifying areas of cooperation, identifying potential security risks, and helping these countries with security risks.”

Many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America had joined China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” a trillion-dollar, global infrastructure program, he noted. But he said there were always strings attached to such lending, which China characterizes as “win-win” cooperation.

“You know, they are sometimes worse than that check cashing store on the corner that you should avoid if you’re trying to get resources to do something. It’s better to work with trusted partners,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“I think that it’s very important that we increasingly do outreach in this part of the world, to make sure that countries like Antigua and others understand what it means to receive support from the CCP,” noting that China operated in a similar way elsewhere, such as in the South Pacific.

Krishnamoorthi said the U.S. should also give more in development assistance—something that Antiguan leader Browne and other ministers told Newsweek was vital for the small nation that was vulnerable to climate change and where livelihoods could be wiped out overnight by a hurricane.

Waltz echoed Krishnamoorthi’s concerns and said political influence followed economic influence.

“We also have a Chinese spy base in Cuba that is 100 miles away from Florida, Chinese ownership of the port on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal, and debt diplomacy in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian while we still don’t even have an ambassador. This is a clear and present threat to our country given the sophistication of the CCP’s espionage operations,” Waltz said.

“We need a new Monroe Doctrine that specifically looks to block the economic and military influence of China,” Waltz said.

“South America offers a wide array of critical minerals that are needed to power our modern economy. It’s against our strategic interests for China to try and monopolize these exports and install military bases that can be used against us should a conflict arise over Taiwan’s sovereignty,” he said, referring to China’s claim on self-ruling Taiwan.

Both China and Cuba have denied U.S. accusations that it has espionage facilities in Cuba.

Krishnamoorthi said he was unaware of any request for basing by China in the region, but that the U.S. needed to be aware that Beijing could be considering it.

“It’s one thing for the CCP to have … embassies and consulates, and to foster business and people to people exchanges and to cooperate, you know, on different projects and so forth. It’s another to, you know, continue some kind of aggressive posture,” Krishnamoorthi said.

In his radio show, Antiguan Prime Minister Browne accused the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) of disloyalty to the state and of being the “most serious threat” to the country after two of its members spoke to Newsweek in its report. He accused them of seeking to jeopardize Antigua’s relationship with the U.S.

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  1. It is scary that the PM thinks there are no cause for concern and that China is not strategically doing what they are doing for their, China’s main or sole benefit, scares me nearly to debt. Because the PM guard is down and do not comprehend advance national security matters, intelligence and international relationship and strategies.

    What is happening here all people, especially a PM, should be skeptical, worried, careful and accept there will be consequences, even those that are unexpected.

    China is not helping or giving because they are Christian people. They are giving for their sole benefit. As a strategy for themself. Not selflessly giving.

    This is my warning. Again, the caribbean, and Antigua and Barbuda needs an Intelligence and National Security Unit. Do not assume the world will just leave the caribbean out of wars and terrorism etcetera when the time comes.

    Take heed, and form the Intelligencd and National Security unit (INSU) and the caribbean should form a joint Caribbean Intelligence and National Security Unit (CINSU).

    Where experts in the field of national security, international relation, terrorism, economics, international law, criminology, sociology, law and other related fields perform their duties in national and regional security.

    You have my warning again.

  2. And now, the DAWG’S endless affiliation with China including endless trust and no pay movements, allowing the building of a fortress
    ,is cause for concern everywhere. Gaston Browne is not trustworthy and the man is greedy beyond limit.The Chinese have a saying,”greed will imprison us all.” Here’s hoping the imprisonment does not include Antigua and Barbuda, though we’re not too far away from that now.
    Let’s not forget his obsession with Nigeria, the scam capital of the world and the nearly 1,000 Africans who used Antigua as a transshipment point. The man has to be stopped before its too late.

    • @…Watching@…ALL of Our Nation’s PM’s from Vere Bird Snr to Gaston Browne, took China’s money(trinkets, loans, grants).

      If Gaston Browne or even Baldwin Spencer had tried to disassociate the Nation from China with no other FOREIGN AID of any worth coming from the EU, AMERICA, the Nation would be in more trouble.
      Yes, China’s influence MUST be addressed and curtailed, but it has to be systematically and meticulously. Similar to performing surgery, to remove a sting Ray Lance embedded in one’s stomach.
      Because it won’t come out, as easy as it enters.

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

  3. Well that embassy Gaston was hopeing the US will put here in Antigua, he can Kiss that googbye.

  4. The USA(the State Department and the Congress) MUST take some responsibility for turning a #blind_eye to what China began doing in Nation’s like Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, over THIRTY(30) years ago.

    The USA treats the Caribbean Nations, just like they do, their #War_Torn neighborhoods, which they label as #ghetto(state of mind, not state of being) right there on AMERICAN soil. Whether, the American Government and the MEDIA want to admit or not, their a Civil War raging in these (ghettos), of America.

    Therefore, what China is doing in the CARIBBEAN should not come, as no surprise to America. The Nations in the Caribbean which were pauperised by EUROPEAN and AMERICAN policies, had very little choice, but to become China’s paramours.

    Let’s see if America sends billions of dollars in foreign aid to the Caribbean like they do for ISRAEL(quasi Israelites) and Ukraine, to combat the PRC aggression, in the Caribbean.

    Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
    De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

    • Very politely put, I think the actual words to describe the neighbours was “shithole countries”

  5. @Ras. It was greed that led these corrupt leaders to take money from the likes of the Chinese, the Allen Sanfords and now the Nigerians of the world, greed, because certainly Antigua and Barbuda could be a self sustainable independent Nation easily.
    And are you telling me, that they amount of money’s that reach the shores of Antigua and Barbuda wasn’t enough to feed and sustain the half of Antigua that work and benefit from it?

    As a matter of fact, it’s that very illustrious market that has pulled all these foreigners to such a tiny island in the last 25 yrs or so.

    So our problem is not that we are that broke that we can’t feed ourselves as a nation, our problem is greed is greed all across the board in Antigua.

    So yes I understand what you’re saying, but it’s greed that lead us done this path, and not the lack of work and enough money to go around, so that now we have to borrow billions of dollars and creat an economic zone for a oppressive regime.

    Yes America and the Europeans are not perfect nations, but they have since try to make amends for 100’s of years of atrocities, but here we are again wanting to become slaves again to the devil that we don’t know.

    This is a present matter, and though the past often dictates the future,we must deal with this present dilemma we are faces with this secret devil that’s creeping up in the Caribbean.

    I always said, that, I prefer a racist that tells me he hates me to my face, than one that wine and dine with you, and come to your backyard party,only eating to take you out, those are the deadly ones, and that’s what the Chinese are, a sneaky ass sneak.

    • Agreed. Spot on. We know what the Western nations are like however, for all their faults their politics are way above the oppressive and sneaky politics of the Chinese. I would like to see the backs of the Chinese, the sooner the better.

    • @Islanman26, isn’t America taking money from the Chinese to help finance their multi trillion dollars debt. Stop believing US PROPAGANDA against China.

    • @Islandman26…they’re all sharks. America, China, France, Germany, Belgium, the Soviet Union/Russia, to the Military Base aka Israel. et al.

      As, #small_fish swimming in the same waters, as these #sharks; [we], as the #small_fish MUST, develop the spirit of the #HEDGEHOG/blowfish. You swallow or gobble me up while, be prepared to spit me back out, or you’ll surely suffer the consequences, of a ‘leaky_gut.’

      I hear you on the issue of “greed…”.
      In the case, of Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA(I know how you feel about Redonda, but hey, nautical_miles and airspace, are crucial assets, in foreign diplomacy and negotiations); but, back to greed, and the fact, that it’s “allegedly” runing through Our Nation, like severe thunderstorms. I always refer, to the LINDQUIST REPORT, on the IHI shenanigans caught on audio tapes. (Similar to what Donald Trump is being prosecuted for, except in Antigua & Barbuda case, the IHI – SCAM was in the millions of dollars).

      This was the UPP best shot, to have not only curb greed, malfeasance and the likes, the report, if acted upon then, could have possibly derailed, or slowed Gaston Browne’s march, to the Office of the Prime Minister.

      I can guarantee you, that many of those who’ve served and some still serving in the US CONGRESS, have invested in Corporations which in turn, invest in China, making huge profits. Since, the #Trumps are trending, how many copyrights or patents did Trump children acquire, or have in the Chinese Manufacturing Industry?
      Major apparel giants, who supply goods for consumption in America from head to toe, caps and hats to sneakers, that have subsidiaries either in Hong Kong or the Chinese Mainland?

      Don’t think the American Congress is putting on this Media Campaign against China because, they love and care about a bunch of “shithole countries.”

      Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, and America just renewed, their Airspace Agreement(s), as they pertain to Our AIRSPACE(now you see the importance of REDONDA), and I stand corrected; but, the American military will benefit too and not just commercial air travel.

      At least, again I stand corrected; but, the PRC and Our Nation have no such agreement(s). Therefore, China can easily be monitored by America, just like they use GUANTANAMO MILITARY BASE, on Cuba’s soil to help monitor Russia and Cuba’s South American allies.

      The CARIBBEAN has to face both CHINA & AMERICA, in a unified manner to get the best deal(s) from the WAR of WORDS. between China & America.

      #1_hand must have help fu clap!

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

  6. The United States owes trillions of dollars to China, which is a considerable debt. If the US had a real interest in the Caribbean, investing in the islands would be a strategic decision. However, the US seems to prioritize keeping the region underdeveloped and impoverished. There is growing dissatisfaction with the fast pace of progress in the Caribbean in which China is involved is contributing to our development.

    • China has become very rich due to American manufacturers craving for cheap labour. They rushed to China who insisted American manufacturers show them their key to.their intellectual property. There is where the rot set in. President Biden is now trying to reverse the trend but the horse has already bolted. He is now encouraging US companies to return to America with lower tax rates. It seems to be having some success.

  7. @Ras Smood.
    You make some valid points. What is equally true is the Chinese can spot a dumbo a mile away never mind a collection of cabinet full of dumbos. Note the red carpet treatment always meted out to our Clown-in-Chief when he visits China. An insignificant nonentity like Gaston Browne, except for the strategic location of Antigua, is like an aggressive cat playing with a mouse before it lands the fatal blow. Now we hear that a cabinet member must study Chairman Xi’s thoughts on governance. There you have it. Remember an item in the MOUS which links ABS to Chinese Media Group. If this doesn’t raise a red flag, nothing will. Antigua and Barbuda might soon be overrun with yellow men, a prospect that fills me with dread.

  8. @Ras Smood.
    You make some valid points. What is equally true is the Chinese can spot a dumbo a mile away, never mind a collection of cabinet full of dumbos. Note the red carpet treatment always meted out to our Clown-in-Chief when he visits China. An insignificant nonentity like Gaston Browne, except for the strategic location of Antigua, is like an aggressive cat playing with a mouse before it lands the fatal blow. Now we hear that a cabinet member must study Chairman Xi’s thoughts on governance. There you have it. Remember an item in the MOUS which links ABS to Chinese Media Group. If this doesn’t raise a red flag, nothing will. Antigua and Barbuda might soon be overrun with yellow men, a prospect that fills me with dread.

  9. As you all know, I’m no great fan or apologist for Prime Minister Gaston Browne, but who the hell the US (or come to that the UK) telling Antigua & Barbuda which country or countries they can be friends or do business with.

    Look at the current country (shhhh! 🤫) that the US are funding and also supplying armaments to, allowing this same country (shhhh! 🤫) to slaughter thousands of Innocent civilians – including women, children and babies.

    The USA need to take the “speck” out of their own eyes first!


  10. @Ricky, that makes no sense about the US wanting to keep Antiguans poor. Tourist from the US visits often. I left Antigua and live in the US, I can now tell you how it feels to make $100,000 in a week, often. And how it feels to have millions in the bank. I am Antiguan in USA.

    You ever thing mismanagement by government officials is the reason for needing loans and other from China by Antigua governments (this and past political party)?

    If I am begging all I had on which is more accurate pertaining to the government mismanagement of governments funds and assets between what you conveyed about the US with its mixed culture wanting to keep Antiguans poor. I would bet the statement you made about the USA is wrong and my statement about mismanagement to be more accurate.

    I remember meeting some ladies who was expressing to me there were guys who commit crimes, sells drugs, robs men and these men would give any woman they want big money to sleep with them, or whatever, so they preferred that kind of man. The hard working men living a legal life was not able to do that and even if they could, they did not because they appreciated their money more and want to provide for one decent woman instead of a bunch of woman who they are just using temporarily and then a week or more after, those women stop getting the drug money and the criminal move on to the next woman, giving her what the former was getting or got once.

    My point is, there are certain countries stealing intellectual property from countries like USA, and making knock-offs and these use these free money to bribe, use, manipulate and abuse countries who wants or is in need of money because of mismanagement.

    Antigua is just the lady with the big boots that you guys that are not decent like me wants to hit a few times but do not intend to keep and love, cherish, respect and not control like I would be to the lady I am searching for to be my wife (I expect one of tenman to respond to this latter part so I can Crack in laughter).

    But these are serious points.

  11. … I hate duplicity or hypocrisy in whatever political guise(s) it comes in. Simple!

    Remember, question every single wrong-doings, and discernment is everything.

  12. @Ricky.

    So what happened to self pride, are we not an independent Nation? We’re did that went in Antigua? So is America responsible for cleaning up our dilapidated buildings all across St johns? Are they responsible for our bad roads, no water,stray dogs all over the place?

    While you talk about “Development” are we not as a government and people responsible for those very little things as an independent Nation?
    What American debt has to do with our own pride and development when we sort independent over 50yrs ago?

    We are an “independent” Nation for Christ sake, so if that word doesn’t mean anything to our own national pride, then I guess you wouldn’t see the concerns about China seeking into our back yard for no other reason but to conquer the world one day under their oppressive regime.

    And China is doing all this for us Caribbean nation, but yet still, over half the population of China lives under their own national poverty line, so all this development people talk about China is doing, is fools gold.

    But anyway,we were slave ones and we will be slaves again, because were water travel once, it will travel again, you better believe. America is not trying to enslave the Caribbean in this present time, big difference in argument here, and it was greed that led black people to slavery, and it will be greed again that will make it happen, because certainly we could be a self sustainable “independent” nation easily.

    • @Islanman26 with a mentality like yours we are still slaves. As a free people should we not be able to decide who our friends are. Why must people like you believe that our foreign policy should be dictated to us by America and we are duty bound to put US interest ahead of ours.

  13. The US Government export all their manufacturing to China because of China’s cheap labor, and China used that to their advantage to become number one in the World’s manufacturing.

    The US Government has the privilege of having the US dollar the dominant currency of the world, and believe it is a right, weaponize the dollar by placing sanctions on other Nations to devastate their people and economies.

    Now China has become the number one economy in the world the US Government has put tough tariff on China exports to the US, ban certain chips from importing into China, China got creative and made their own chips that can stand up against any other chips in the world.

    China did not steal any technology from the US, the US exported all of that when they exported manufacturing to China because of the cheap labor, the Chinese learned the technique, got creative and advance on it.

    The US Secretary of treasury went to China apparently to asked China to purchase more US debt, who in their right mind would do that when the US debt is already 34 trillion dollars, the US treasury print money to import, while do so exporting inflation.

    The US Secretary of State went to China to persuade Chine to cut ties with Russia or else, all the western Colonial Super Power Governments are lining up to go the China, the German Chancellor already did, France President asking for a date, all who already went did not get the red carpet, but Antigua and Barbuda PM did.

    The rest of the World are gravitating towards China and BRICS and the US Government does not like it, whose fault is it? That is what happens when a superpower misuse its power.

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