“Tit-for-tat”

Grenada and the rest of the Caribbean should take careful note of the “cold war” that has virtually started between the United States and China on the Huawei Technologies Co. issue.

The Donald Trump administration in Washington has widened its dragnet on Chinese companies barred from selling to the U.S. or buying components from American firms in a push to slow China’s technological advances through Huawei.

The hawkish policymakers in the United States would be taking careful note of those regional governments who have been developing strong political ties with Beijing to attract developmental aid for the advancement of their people.

It’s a new cold war taking place in the region – much different from the bruising battles that took place in the 1970’s and 1980’s with leftwing revolution by Grenada, Cuba, Nicaragua and to lesser extent Jamaica which pursued policies that were an affront to Washington’s global interest.

As one political analyst stated recently, the Chinese are the only one with the “pepper sauce” in the world and their assistance around the world is rivaling that of the United States.

Washington’s interest is no longer focused on the Caribbean as it has become pre-occupied with much larger issues around the world especially in the fight against world terrorism.

However, this should not be construed to conclude that the United States is not weary of the growing influence of China in what it considers as its own “back yard”.

Unfortunately, the Americans have been giving drips of aid to regional states as compared to the “goodies” that are now coming from the Chinese.

Take for instance, the situation last week in which the United States gave two Satellite phones to Grenada for use during the Hurricane season.

This is nothing but a drop in the ocean with the fleet of vehicles given by the Chinese for use by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and other state bodies.

China is also making available to Grenada and some of the regional states with which it enjoys diplomatic relations several scholarships and help in other areas like low-cost housing and agricultural development unlike the United States.

Our leaders understand the need to deliver to their people to face the electorate every five years in the electoral cycle.

The Chinese will never admit publicly that its agents are known to provide large amounts of cash to those politicians that it is comfortable to doing business with in the region.

Taiwan is no longer in a position to financially match the “goodies” from the Chinese which is now awash with money from its economic and financial models that are being pursued by a younger generation of leaders who are prepared to watch the Americans straight in the eye on the global level.

The Chinese will not sit idle by and allow the United States to cripple Huawei Technologies Co., China’s biggest telecommunications company, in its trust to become a major player in the 5G technology.

The punitive measures already taken by the United States will be met by retaliation by the Chinese and this technological cold war between the two world powers will continue to rattle markets around the world.

Analysts have concluded that the 5G is what Washington is most fearful about as this is the technology that will be powering upcoming technologies from self-driving cars to advanced medical procedures and the new wireless standard that is set to become the backbone of any modern economy.

Prior to President’s Trump action, Huawei, which is a major player in communications networking and the second-largest smartphone maker, was leading in supplying that infrastructure around the world.

The U.S is now desperately trying to slow down the Chinese tech company in the expansion of 5G.

It is a known fact that many people do not trust China out of fears that Huawei might allow the government in Beijing to use the platform to engage in espionage activities.

Many experts agree that Chinese tech companies still remain well behind their U.S counterparts in some key industries.

The crackdown on Huawei and other tech companies by the Trump administration in Washington should not be taken lightly by those Caribbean states that have been forging new relations with Beijing in the face of this new U.S.-China trade war.

China has threatened to retaliate against the attack on its leading tech company by the United States.

As its envoy to the European Union, Zhang Ming said in Brussel, “This is wrong behaviour, so there will be a necessary response”.

The Caribbean should be mindful to steer clear of this tit-for-tat between Washington and Beijing in the new cold war as eggs have no right in rock stone’s dance.

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