It turns out China has been investing in the Area since 2005, and as much as 7 billion dollars, building roads, ports and the five-star Baha Mar casino and resort in the Bahamas - though the true figure is thought to run well into the tens of billions.
While some of the money arrives as part of trade and investment deals, much of it is offered as 'soft loans' for infrastructure projects that are harder to track and typically come with requirements to use Chinese contractors for the work. The loans also provide long-term leverage for Beijing over the cash-strapped island nations.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK's foreign affairs committee, accused Beijing of 'playing a large role' in Barbados's recent calls to drop the Queen as the Head of State.
As many as eight countries in the Caribbean have already signed on to Beijing's Belt and Road initiative, including Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, with agreements to establish trade ties along with building bridges and airports, and improving energy and telecommunications networks.
In 2018, leaders from the region and South America signed up to a 2019-2021 road map with China that aimed to deepen political and economic ties in many areas including trade, agriculture, infrastructure and science and technology.
More recently, a Chinese firm took full control of Jamaica Kingston Freeport one of the largest in the Caribbean, China also invested in Cuba, helping to build another terminal for one of the largest ports there.
However, not everyone has welcomed China's increased presence in the region. Trade and investment with the likes of Belize, St Lucia, St Kitts, Haiti and St Vincent is still non-existent, largely due to their recognising Taiwan, Beijing’s “enemy”.
Meanwhile, the locals are not smiling either as they can see large construction projects handed to Chinese labourers, under the terms of loan deals, starving them of income. Although most labourers return to China once the work is completed, some decided to stay abroad, establishing businesses, particularly in retail, which often out-compete locals, furthering the resentment.
One of the countries who gladly opened their arms for China is Barbados, whose intentions are to remove the Queen’s control of the state. Barbados has been struggling with the intention for some time now, as they are negotiating the matter since 1966.
And as always, the matter has already been argued as a disaster on twitter, as one tweeted: “Oh here we go it’s no secret that the Caribbean countries and China are very close, but this is hilarious.”