That’s not exactly cricket now, is it?

This is so weird, it’s hard to believe. The Chinese are investing in cricket stadiums half-way around the world just to spoil Grenada’s relationship with Taiwan?? Well, stranger things have happened, I guess.

More than 8,000 miles from Beijing, Chinese workers are putting the finishing touches on stadiums for a sport they’ve never played.

Living in temporary plastic huts and taking a single day off each month, about 1,000 employees of state-owned Chinese companies have sweated away the past year on the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Antigua and Grenada as the West Indies prepare to host the Cricket World Cup, the game’s premier international event.

Their presence has more to do with China’s drive to isolate Taiwan, the democracy it considers a breakaway province, than with what the Chinese call shen shi yun dong, or “the noble game.” China is using its economic might to break alliances Taiwan forged in the Caribbean to counter its status as a diplomatic outcast.

“This is a diplomatic move,” says John Tkacik, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based research group. “There’s no other reason for China to go horsing around in the Caribbean. The more countries that abandon recognition of Taiwan, the less international status it has.”

Even though that guy is with the Heritage Foundation, it sounds like he’s right. The article is mind-boggling; China will go to just about any length to woo away any country that has the temerity to recognize Taiwan. How can Taiwan possibly stand up against such a ruthless campaign? Death by a thousand cuts, whether you inflict the wound with a knife or a cricket bat (or whatever they call that thing they use in cricket).

The Discussion: 28 Comments

Taiwan can stand up to it, even if they’re repeated slaps in the face.

This is why the US can’t keep on with its “scold Taiwan for opening its mouth/ignore China for threatening it with attack” policy. If it does, one day Taiwan will just get fed up of being forced to please everyone and expected to lap up abuse from China, declare independence and start a horrid war the US will get sucked into whether it likes it or not.

March 9, 2007 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

Makes perfect sense for China – isolate Taiwan for the price of erecting a breeze block stadium or two. Cheaper than sending in an aircraft carrier task force they haven’t got. USA: watch and learn.

March 9, 2007 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

Tkacik is a longtime commentator on Taiwan affairs. He knows his Taiwan shit, having grown up here and gone to Taipei American School. Yes, he’s with Heritage, but even the Right is on target sometimes.

Michael

March 9, 2007 @ 10:36 pm | Comment

I take it you folks love what the American Left has done on China over the years.

March 10, 2007 @ 12:50 am | Comment

Chinese are working construction in the Caribbean for the same reason they built railroads in the United States 150 years ago… and politics now, as then, play a minimal factor.

Chinese construction companies are in every corner of every developing nation on this planet, especially those abandoned by Western companies as being too low margin. This includes the Caribbean as well as sub-Saharan Africa.

The reasons are simple. China’s construction machine has a near infinite supply of skilled, low-cost labor. Generic construction labor cost in the Caribbean is approximately $12 USD per day (according to quick google search); that’s 100 RMB per day. Anyone familiar with Chinese wages would recognize that’s very healthy take-home pay. The Chinese are willing to live in company housing, eat in company cafeterias, work hard and work long, while eating ku all day long… just in order to make a living for their families.

Chinese construction companies have tried to break into developed nations too, but that’s not an easy task. No developed nation will allow a Chinese company to import Chinese laborers, no matter what the cost.

March 10, 2007 @ 3:59 am | Comment

Isn’t it called a wicket. I think so and I think that is where the term sticky wicket comes from. Wonder if China would have done the same thing if Grenada had wanted a baseball stadium or if doing something with “America’s pastime” would have too much stuck in their craws.

March 10, 2007 @ 6:23 am | Comment

Nope. It’s a bat. The wicket is something else.

See link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicket

March 10, 2007 @ 8:16 am | Comment

“The reasons are simple. China’s construction machine has a near infinite supply of skilled, low-cost labor.”

Wouldn’t the chinese gov’t like to help these countries by hiring local workers at local wages instead of importing slaves? Nah, easier to let the locals idle about, look down on them and make the local gov’t give up national resources as barter.

March 10, 2007 @ 10:16 am | Comment

nanheyangrouchuan wrote:

>>Wouldn’t the chinese gov’t like to help these >>countries by hiring local workers at local wages >>instead of importing slaves?

Ah, these hard working guys are slaves?????
who do you think you are, nanheyangrouchuan? what a shame!

March 10, 2007 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

@nanheyangrouchuan,

China will do what it can to help, but as a poor nation, she doesn’t have quite the resources to throw around that others may. As it is, the current situation is a win-win. Useful construction is getting done, while Chinese enterprise/workers are gainfully employed.

You can be as much of an ass as you’d like, but nothing you say changes the fundamental truth behind that fact.

March 10, 2007 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

Well, never say that China isn’t classy in its cross-Strait relations.

March 10, 2007 @ 4:01 pm | Comment

I heard a rumor (don’t know if it’s true) that at the opening ceremony of the Grenada stadium they accidentally played Taiwan’s national anthem… That must have been hilarious

-Kaixin

March 11, 2007 @ 3:07 am | Comment

“China will do what it can to help, but as a poor nation, she doesn’t have quite the resources to throw around that others may”

A poor nation with a manned space program, and anti-satellite program and a fairly modern air force/navy.

March 11, 2007 @ 10:55 am | Comment

It’s true. The Taiwanese national anthem was played first. Heard it on the BBC the other night as I was driving home from work. Must have been very uncomfortable for all involved. But pretty funny when you think about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

See link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/caribbean/news/story/2007/02/070205_grendiplomatic2.shtml

March 11, 2007 @ 4:41 pm | Comment

curious to know if anyone has heard anything about China training a national cricket team for the next world cup???

Sumita
editor@2point6billion.com

March 11, 2007 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

@nanheyangrouchuan,

That’s right, a poor nation with a manned space program, an anti-satellite program, and a fairly modern air force/navy. And even with all of that in place, China’s defense spending as % of GDP remains very similar to other regional nations.

Most nations on this planet realize that national security can’t wait for peaceful resolution of social problems. The United States armed itself for the Cold War despite significant social difficulties at home.

A wealth but unarmed China is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. There’s no foreign nation out there looking out for Chinese interests except for China.

March 12, 2007 @ 3:58 am | Comment

Umm…CCT, the issues the US was facing during the Cold War were nothing like the social issues China was facing. We didn’t need to depend on the military to crack down on states that were trying to split away. We dealt with that issue in the 1860’s. Second, who is threatening China? During the Cold War, Warsaw Pact and NATO troops were face to face along the Iron Curtain. Which country is threatening to invade China?

March 12, 2007 @ 11:38 am | Comment

I take it you folks love what the American Left has done on China over the years.

Umm…WHAT “American left”?! The one that had all this power and influence while I was, I dunno, apparently sleeping for 40 years?

I’m mystified.

March 12, 2007 @ 5:15 pm | Comment

Umm…WHAT “American left”?! The one that had all this power and influence while I was, I dunno, apparently sleeping for 40 years?

Ha! Who was it that said “I belong to no political organization – I’m a lifelong Democrat”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

March 12, 2007 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

In the off chance there is any doubt … “slim” is not “Shanghai Slim”. ๐Ÿ™‚

March 13, 2007 @ 1:28 am | Comment

@ nausicaa I think it was Roy Rogers. Ah for the good days when the left was in power….

March 13, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Comment

‘That’s right, a poor nation with a manned space program, an anti-satellite program, and a fairly modern air force/navy. And even with all of that in place, China’s defense spending as % of GDP remains very similar to other regional nations.”

Because the CCP says it shall be and the gov’t accountants make sure it is so.

March 13, 2007 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Close, Kenzhu – it was Will Rogers. Roy was too busy singing to his horse Trigger.

March 14, 2007 @ 12:08 am | Comment

I always confuse the two. Of course, I think it sounds much better coming from a guy wearing a cowboy hat.

March 14, 2007 @ 8:16 am | Comment

@kenzhu,

How many nations have actually invaded the United States in the past century? There’ve been a total of two military aggressive acts against United States territory in that time frame: Pearl Harbor, and 9/11.

You tell me: how much did those two acts influence US policy for the years and decades to follow?

China was actually invaded innumerable times in the 20th century. And during the Cold War era, China also happened to fight wars against the United States + UN, Vietnam, India, *and* the USSR. During the late ’60s, the USSR had most of their land forces not in western Europe, but rather facing against China in central Asia.

In Vietnam, Chinese forces crossed the border first. In India, Indian forces crossed the border (or at least the line of control) first. Against the USSR, both sides fought in disputed territory. Against the United States in Korea, Chinese forces crossed their border with North Korea long after UN forces crossed theirs.

3000 dead in NYC due to the attack of a few suicidal fringe extremists has led the United States into two wars (and possibly a 3rd in the making), not to mention redesigning her legal framework for dealing with her own citizens and foreigners alike.

With tens of millions killed in war and significant regions of China occupied by foreign powers for decades (and centuries)… you’ll have to pardon me if we’re a little sensitive about this foreign invasion thing.

March 15, 2007 @ 2:30 am | Comment

CCT,

At some point you start to sound like the woman with a Virginia ham under each arm, crying because she has no bread…

March 15, 2007 @ 8:27 am | Comment

@Jeremiah,

I have *no* idea what that reference means. Well, strike that, I can guess at the overall sentiment.

I don’t really believe there’s a cabal of international capitalists meeting in some back room, waiting to destroy China. But I certainly believe that no one on this green Earth would spend a cent to defend Chinese interests, especially when their own is at risk.

I think the Iraq situation is perfectly demonstrative of this. I think only the very naive believes that the war in Iraq had anything to do with improving the lives of the Iraqi people, that US elected officials decided to sacrifice American lives for Iraqi lives. The war was initiated on a calculation that Iraq was destabilizing to American interests in the Middle East, period. And even though they disagreed strongly with the motives behind the war, European nations would’ve never considered defending Iraq… they limited it to not participating in the war.

So, let’s talk China hypotheticals. Let’s leave the really sensitive issue of Taiwan out of the picture; we’ll talk Chinese/Korea border. North Korea eventually collapses and is absorbed by the South. 5 years later, South Korea presses her renewed claim on changbai mountain. If China’s not strong enough to defend her interests, who will? Who will the United States back in such a conflict…? Their East Asian ally, or the Communist Chinese that’s slowly whittling away at the US alliance?

As they say, you’re not really paranoid if they’re out to get you. China doesn’t need to point guns in every direction, but China does need to protect her interests. There’s no way that China will be able to keep her growing influence and stash of wealth without a strong military force standing in front of it.

March 16, 2007 @ 2:22 am | Comment

John Tcasik is paid by the Taiwan separatists for his propaganda. He makes no secret of his agenda: an independent Taiwan. He is as biased as hell.

March 18, 2007 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

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