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The initiatives are part of a quiet but assertive push by China in recent years to expand its footprint and influence in the region through government grants and loans, investments by Chinese companies, and diplomatic, cultural and security efforts.
But while governments in the region have welcomed Beijing's interest, the Trump administration has viewed China's growing presence — and its potential to challenge Washington's influence in the region — with concern and suspicion.
The Caribbean markets are generally small, and most of the nations there lack the sizable reserves of minerals and other raw materials that often draw Chinese attention. But the region has strategic importance as a hub for logistics, banking and commerce, analyst say, and could have great security value in a military conflict because of its proximity to the United States.
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