Honors College Theses

Publication Date



International Studies (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Christopher M. Brown, Ph.D


In 2008, the United States experienced an economic crisis that ultimately caused it to take a step back from its involvement in the Caribbean, in particular. This vacuum left by the United States was swiftly filled by China, which shifted the balance of power in the region and provided China a strategic foothold. This event allowed China to expand its influence, as well as challenge US interests through the use of soft power such as trade and investments in infrastructure. While this symbiotic relationship benefits both parties, there is usually a trade inequality in China’s favor. China’s traditional use of hard power in places like the South China Sea is at odds with its current use of soft power in the Caribbean. China’s opening prompted a need for resources to support the populace’s desire for economic prosperity. Could these factors indicate a shift in Chinese foreign policy? Looking at Trinidad & Tobago, I analyze evidence of Chinese influence and economic ties in relation to change in foreign policy.

Included in

Asian Studies Commons