China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the future of development in the Caribbean

12 October 2021, 15:30-17:00

Venue: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33 | 1018 WB Amsterdam - 2nd Floor

CEDLA Lecture

Speaker: Ruben Gonzalez Vicente, Universiteit Leiden

This presentation explores the developmental footprint of China’s Belt and Road Initiative through a theoretical lens inspired by critical Caribbean thought. Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente will discuss how Sino-Caribbean relations remain shaped by epistemic dependency, structural imbalances, and a number of unresolved social issues relating to the postcolonial condition in former plantation societies.


He argues that expectations deposited in the emerging ‘South-South’ link with China in Latin America and the Caribbean are easily overstated. Instead, the relation is characterized by China’s elitist business-centric approach to development, the eschewing of participatory approaches in Sino-Caribbean ventures, and the passive incorporation of the Caribbean into China’s global vision. The presentation is based on his work with Annita Montoute (University of the West Indies).