Commentary by Rasheed Griffith
Foreign policy discussions around China-Caribbean engagement have been uniformly skewed toward speculation on China’s intentions in the Caribbean. It is not too late for the U.S. to arrest the deepening of China-Caribbean engagement that could result in policies that are contrary to U.S. strategic interests. But assessing U.S. interests in this area requires wrestling with the facts on the ground and countering Chinese influence with realistic and robust alternatives.
U.S. policymakers have devoted little time and effort to gaining a nuanced understanding of what the Caribbean has gained and hopes to gain from its engagement with China. The Caribbean is not an idle player. Regional governments actively seek deals from Chinese firms and government organizations—often with significant success. In addition to asking why China is engaging in the Caribbean, one needs to ask why do Caribbean countries so readily seek out deals with Chinese firms?
It costs more to raise a kid in China than it does in Japan and the United States.
Despite China’s efforts to boost population growth with policy reforms and economic incentives, more and more Chinese people have been questioning the value of procreation. Further fueling the hesitancy to reproduce is a heightened sense of financial insecurity felt by many younger Chinese, who fear that having babies will fundamentally change their lifestyle for the worse, or that they can’t afford to give the kids the best opportunities to compete in an increasingly unequal environment
China’s annual “Two Sessions” (两会 liǎnghuì), the biggest political meetings of the year, are well underway in Beijing, as thousands of officials gather to discuss the central government’s priorities and plans. Stability, above all else, is the guiding rhetoric.