MAKING FRIENDS

China Buys Up the Caribbean

Chinese banks, companies, and the government have been spending heavily in islands throughout the Caribbean, presumably in order to strengthen ties. One cluster of islands recently received a new stadium, megaresort, port, bridge, and embassy--all financed by Chinese aid and loans. Cables released by WikiLeaks showed American officials worried over the close proximity of these new investments and theorizing that China is creating allies in preparation for the end of Castro's reign in Cuba, a current ally. "If China continues to invest the way it is doing in the Caribbean, the U.S. is almost making itself irrelevant to the region," a former diplomat told The New York Times.