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In The News

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China reportedly ‘expanding rapidly’ in the backyard of the United States

Just over 200 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and less than a five-hour flight to Florida, the Caribbean island of Antigua is “about to be razed for a Chinese-run special economic zone.” According to leaked documents reviewed by Newsweek, the zone “will have its own customs and immigration formalities, a shipping port and a dedicated airline and will be able to issue passports. It will establish businesses offering everything from logistics to cryptocurrencies, facial surgery to ‘virology.’” “China, its state-owned companies and aligned private businesses are expanding rapidly in the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda and in other Caribbean countries in this strategic region long known as ‘America’s third border,’ according to a Newsweek investigation of government and corporate documents as well as interviews with Antiguan leaders,” the outlet reports. It likens China’s presence in the area to the last time a Communist nation attempted to set up shop on America’s doorstep. “China’s growing regional presence is potentially the greatest external challenge to the United States in the Americas since the Soviet Union set up in Cuba in the 1960s—and the U.S. military is concerned,” Newsweek reports. “… Hundreds of millions of dollars of loans and grants from China and extensive construction by Chinese state-owned companies of critical infrastructure including ports, airports and water systems are turning Antigua—once considered part of America’s ‘backyard’—into China’s front yard, critics say.” According to the Antigua Newsroom, “Antigua and Barbuda signed a memorandum of understanding with China on cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Silk Road Initiative in 2018, becoming the first Eastern Caribbean country to sign a Belt and Road cooperation MoU with China.” In an interview with Newsweek, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne had nothing but praise for Xi Jinping and his Communist nation.

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