Caribbean to brace for increased Chinese population – Research professor warns

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis, an international research professor, is predicting that the population of Chinese nationals in the Caribbean and Latin America will dramatically increase in the coming years.

Ellis is a senior associate (non-resident) with the Americas Programme at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is a research professor of Latin American studies.

Last year November, Ellis published a paper titled “The Future of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Context of the Rise of China.”    

The paper examines China’s “strategy” in Latin America and the Caribbean. It points out what the superpower has already achieved and what it is likely to achieve within 30 years based on its current trajectory.

While examining the implications of China’s “greatly expanded position” as banker, employer, and military and political partner in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ellis considered some of the possible dynamics by sector. He spoke extensively about the impact China will have on infrastructural development in the Caribbean.

Particularly, Ellis said that the growing number of construction projects by Chinese companies also will bring more Chinese workers to the region, not only in projects for small governments with relatively weak negotiating positions (as in the Caribbean), but also in larger countries such as Brazil, whose strong institutions and domestic competitors will become less effective in pressuring their governments to resist deals involving large numbers of Chinese workers.

Ellis said that one politically and socially important side effect of the increased presence of Chinese workers will be the growth of Chinese communities throughout the region, “as some of those workers overstay their visas or through other means remain in the countries where they were brought to work.”

The research professor said that by 2050, Chinese communities most likely will have become part of the cultural landscapes of many Latin American and Caribbean cities where they now are invisible minorities.

Ellis said that the growth of these communities will affect the political and cultural dynamics of the region, fueling periodic anti-Chinese protests in some countries, with increasingly influential Chinese embassies insisting that local governments protect the interests and well-being of Chinese communities.

Further, he said that the growth of Chinese populations will also increase the activities of China-based criminal organizations in the region.

Ellis said that new organized crime challenges will foster greater cooperation between China and Latin American police forces, at times generating complaints that China national police are operating with too much autonomy within Chinese communities in the region.

“Indeed, as Chinese police become active in Latin America in fighting trans-Pacific crime, some Chinese, whose ancestors long ago left China, may feel that the police presence enables the government to monitor and intimidate ethnic Chinese beyond the PRC’s borders,” said Ellis.

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  • Tata  On 02/10/2019 at 1:03 am

    With America’s preoccupation with wars around the world, this distraction has fueled China’s greed for the untapped wealth of small, underdeveloped and impoverished countries around the world. Sadly, the impact on communities in countries like Guyana, Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean will be devastating because the increase presence of a new and growing group of foreign nationals, who don’t speak their language and unwilling to be part of society. Yes, the Chinese are on a mission to create new societies, control the world economically and destroy cultures. These people have no good intentions when they come bearing gifts of “infrastructure development “ (that last maybe 10 years or less) then it crumbled: then before you know it, they own every business and even control the political conversation in the country.

    Chinese expansionists are a danger to Guyana and every nation around the world. They dump their inferior and dangerous goods upon poor and unsuspecting nations around the world. They are dangerous and Guyana’s oil wealth has given them double vision. Send them home. Those greedy skunks.

    • Trevor  On 02/10/2019 at 8:17 pm

      Chinee man done own most of the tall buildings in GT.

  • walter  On 02/10/2019 at 11:53 am

    BINGO! The chinese prosper and grow, even in large first world countries, because they target WEAK and GREEDY politicians. Every problem that shows it’s head in GUYANA today seems to require the population regardless of party, to be more active, against, before it is too late. In the case of the chinese this may be irreversible.

    • Trevor  On 02/10/2019 at 8:18 pm

      Chinee man smart. They are setting shop everywhere and some have said that this is for military and strategic purposes.
      Chinee man invest billions into Jamaica.

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