Tag Archives: Cuba-China Relations

CHINA PILES INTO CUBA AS VENEZUELA FADES AND TRUMP LOOMS

Reuters, Tue Feb 14, 2017 | 8:17 PM EST

Original Article: China piles into Cuba

CUBA ISN’T WAITING AROUND FOR U.S. WHEN IT’S GOT CHINA

By Marc Frank | HAVANA

From buses and trucks to a $500 million golf resort, China is deepening its business footprint in Cuba, helping the fellow Communist-run state survive a crisis in oil-benefactor Venezuela and insulate against a possible rollback of U.S. detente.

Cuban imports from China reached a record $1.9 billion in 2015, nearly 60 percent above the annual average of the previous decade, and were at $1.8 billion in 2016 as the flow of oil and cash slowed from Venezuela due to economic and political turmoil in the South American country.

China’s growing presence gives its companies a head start over U.S. competitors in Cuba’s opening market. It could leave the island less exposed to the chance U.S. President Donald Trump will clamp down on travel to Cuba and tighten trade restrictions loosened by his predecessor Barack Obama.  A deterioration in U.S.-China relations under Trump could also lead Beijing to dig in deeper in Cuba, some analysts say.

“If and when the Trump administration increases pressure on China … China may decide to double down on its expanding footprint in the United States’ neighborhood,” said Ted Piccone, a Latin America analyst at the Brookings Institution think tank.

China, the world’s second largest economy, sells goods to Cuba on soft credit terms. It is Cuba’s largest creditor and debt is regularly restructured, though amounts and terms are considered state secrets.  While Cuba does not publish investment data, the state press has been abuzz with news of Chinese projects lately, covering infrastructure, telecoms, tourism and electronics.

Yutong (600066.SS) buses, Sinotruk (3808.HK) trucks, YTO (600233.SS) tractors, Geely (0175.HK) cars, Haier (1169.HK) domestic appliances and other products are prominent in Cuba, where the main U.S. products on display are cars dating back to the 1950s, thanks to the ongoing economic embargo.

Cubans flock every day to hundreds of Huawei supplied Wi-Fi hot spots and the firm is now helping to wire the first homes.

“Business is really booming, more than we could have ever imagined,” said the manager of a shipping company which brings in Chinese machinery and transport equipment and who asked not to be identified.

The foreign ministry in Beijing described China and Cuba as “good comrades, brothers, and partners,” and said the relations “were not influenced by any third party,” when asked whether U.S. policy was encouraging China to deepen its presence.  “We are happy to see that recently countries around the world are all expanding cooperation with Cuba. I think this shows that all countries have consistent expectations about Cuba’s vast potential for development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.

The U.S. State Department and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

INCREASED INVESTMENT

Over the past two decades, China has become a major player in Latin America and the Caribbean, second only to the United States in investment flows and diplomatic clout.  But the Asian giant was reluctant to invest in Cuba because of the poor business climate and fear of losing opportunities in the United States, according to Asian diplomats in Havana.

That began to change after Obama moved to normalize relations two years ago and Cuba sweetened investment rules, sparking new interest among U.S. businesses and competitors around the world.  China was well placed because the local government preferred doing business with long-term friends offering ample credit to work with state-run firms.

In return, Cuba has shared contacts and knowledge about the region, and taught hundreds of Chinese translators Spanish.

A report on the government’s official Cubadebate media web site last month said the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in renewable energy and industry, with 18 Chinese firms taking part in a three-day meeting in Havana.

Plans for several projects were signed, including a joint venture with Haier to establish a renewable energy research and development facility, the report said.  A few weeks earlier, Cuba opened its first computer assembly plant with Haier with an annual capacity of 120,000 laptops and tablets, state media reported.

Other projects include pharmaceuticals, vehicle production, a container terminal in eastern Santiago de Cuba, backed by a $120 million Chinese development loan, and Beijing Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (0392.HK) venture for a $460 million golf resort just east of Havana.  Shanghai Electric (601727.SS) is providing funds and equipment for a series of bioelectricity plants attached to sugar mills.

Barrio Chino, La Habana

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CHINA AND CUBA: 160 YEARS AND LOOKING AHEAD

Mao Xianglin, Adrian H. Hearn and Liu Weiguang

Latin American Perspectives, November 2015

Original Essay: http://lap.sagepub.com/content/42/6/140.full.pdf+html

Abstract

Sino-Cuban relations have deepened rapidly since the beginning of the twenty-first century, propelled by both political ideology and economic interests. A shared commitment to socialism with “local characteristics” has enabled the pursuit of an unusually broad range of cooperative initiatives. These include Chinese investment in the Cuban nickel and oil sectors, educational and medical exchange programs, the development of tourism, and engagement with the Chinese diaspora on the island. Data from Chinese sources on these spheres of engagement reflect an attempt to address contemporary needs with a blend of state and market forces. The intensification of Sino-Cuban relations over the past decade poses no challenge to the United States; on the contrary, it opens new opportunities for trilateral cooperation.

Las relaciones sino-cubanos se han profundizado rápidamente desde comienzos del siglo XXI, impulsadas tanto por ideología política como por intereses económicos. Un compromiso compartido al socialismo con “características locales” ha permitido la consecución de una gama inusualmente amplia de iniciativas cooperativas. Éstas incluyen la inversión china en sectores cubanos de níquel y petróleo, programas de intercambio educacionales y médicos, el fomento de turismo, y la interacción con la diáspora china en la isla. Datos de fuentes chinas sobre estos ámbitos de interacción reflejan un intento de abordar necesidades contemporáneas con una mezcla de fuerzas estatales y del mercado. La profundización de relaciones sino-cubanas en recientes décadas no presenta ningún desafío a los Estados Unidos; al contrario, abre nuevas oportunidades de cooperación trilateral.

zzzChinese President Xi Jinping (L) is awarded Cuba’s Jose Marti Medal by Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana, capital of Cuba, July 22, 2014 [Xinhua]

 

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Cuba’s Economic Problems and Prospects in a Changing Geo-Economic Environment

By Arch Ritter

Below is a Power Point Presentation made at the “Seminar on Prospects for Cuba’s Economy” at the Bildner Center, City University of New York, on May 21, 2012.

The full presentation can be found here: CUNY Bildner Presention, Arch Ritter on Cuba’s Economic Problems and Prospects….”, May 21 2012

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Crecimiento económico y sector externo en Cuba

A descriptive analysis of Cuba’s external sector and economic growth has been published by Jorge Mario Sanchez, of the Centro de Estudios sobre la Economia Cubana. Here is the hyperlink:

Jorge Mario Sanchez, Crecimiento económico y sector externo en Cuba

Jorge Mario Sánchez

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International

Cuba-Venezuela Relations

Rolando Castaneda, LA AYUDA ECONÓMICA DE VENEZUELA A CUBA: SITUACIÓN Y PERSPECTIVAS. ¿ES SOSTENIBLE? – Misceláneas de Cuba (18 August 2009)


Cuba-Canada Relations

Rachel Pulfer, “Castro’s Favourite Capitalist” (Will Sherritt International come to regret dealing with Communist Cuba? CEO Ian Delaney doesn’t think so) The Walrus, Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lana Wylie, Reassessing Canada’s Relationship with Cubain an Era of Change, Canadian International Council, October 2009.

Cristina Warren, Retooling Canada’s Cuba policy for the post-Castro era, Vanguard, Canada.s Premier Defense and Security Magazine, May 2008 A

No cigar on Cuban relations, John M. Kirk and Peter Mckenna. The Globe and Mail. Montreal, Monday, June 4, 2001

Canadian Centre for Foreign Policy Development, Report from the Round Table on Canada Cuba Relations (CCFPD), Ottawa, Canada, January 18, 2000

YVON GRENIER, Our Dictatorship: Canada’s Trilateral Relations with Castro’s Cuba, Vanishing Borders: Edited by Maureen Appel Molot and Fen Osler Hampson. Oxford Univesity Press, 2000.


Cuba- China Relations

Yinghong Cheng, Beijing and Havana: Political Fraternity and Economic Patronage, The Jamestown Foundation, China Brief Volume: 9 Issue: 9, April 30, 2009

Daniel Erikson, CUBA, CHINA, VENEZUELA: NEW DEVELOPMENTS, Cuba in Transition, ASCE, 2005


Cuba-European Union Relations

Council of the European Union, Council conclusions on Evaluation of the EU Common Position on Cuba, 2951st External Relations Council, Luxembourg, 15 Juin 2009

Joaquín Roy, The Attitude of the European Union and Spain Towards Cuba: An Assessment A Year After Castro’s Illness, WP 38/2007, Real Instituto Elcano, Madrid, 4/9/2007

Joaquín Roy, From Stubbornness and Mutual Irrelevance to Stillness and Vigil on Castro’s Crisis: The Current State of European Union-Spain-Cuba Relations, WP 16/2006, Real Instituto Elcano, Madrid, 31/08/2006

Christian Freres, An Overview of the Linkages Between Spain’s Regions and Cuba, Background Briefings (RFC-05-02), FOCAL, Canada, 2005

Joaquín Roy, The European Union Perception of Cuba: From Frustration to Irritation, Background Briefings (RFC-03-2) FOCAL Canada, September 2003

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