This is how China does it

Local politicians were mesmerized by Guangdong Zhenrong Energy (GZE), which was here to build a refinery without ever having built one. The Whiteman, Koeiman, Pisas 1, and Rhuggenaath administrations were impressed by the GZE’s charm offensive to help our most important companies, including Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) and, the Curaçao Water and Power Company (Aqualectra). Why wouldn’t they be elated? Additionally, GZE would create an entertainment strip à la Las Vegas, help out a local bank in trouble, and build many sports facilities, all while constructing a refinery, which, like I said, they have never done and had failed miserably trying to do in Myanmar. GZE soon disappeared from the scene since it couldn’t produce the resources to back up its talk.

Yet some people here, including an ex-Minister President, still worship the ground GZE walks on. In one of his veneration rants about the GZE, the politician said that Curaçao is missing out on getting Chines expertise, money, and investment China is graciously giving the world in the frame of the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Infrastructure (BRI) projects.

The results of BRI have so far been less than gracious. In Angola, a vast social housing project by the Chinese is cracking, and there are complaints about moldy ceilings. In Pakistan, a Chinese-built hydroelectric plant had to be shut down last year after detecting cracks in a tunnel. Uganda’s power generation company said it has identified over 500 construction defects in a Chinese-built hydropower plant causing frequent breakdowns since its operation in 2019. And most recently, Ecuador -a small country, yet at the forefront of the communists’ push in the region, accessing more loans than any country except Venezuela and Brazil-, has seen many big Chinese projects in the mining and energy sectors plagued with construction flaws. Besides the mediocre quality of these Chinese constructions, many communities have been forced off their land in addition to huge environmental costs resulting in death and impoverishment. I have personally visited some of the affected areas left behind by the Chinese in Myanmar, Kazakhstan, and Laos.

China has become known for targetting poor countries with its debt traps. It lends money to other countries, which must cede control of key assets if they can’t repay their debt. Sri Lanka had to give up 7o% of control of one of its ports to China which it now uses to, among others, dock spy ships, much to the chagrin of nearby India. It is unknown how widespread these practices are because China, unlike other major donors, does not publish records of its foreign loans, and most of its contracts contain non-disclosure clauses that prevent borrowers from revealing their contents.

Communist China, once a staunch believer in advancing the interests of developing countries in the Non-Alligned Movement, is now the new imperialism. In the past, China preached to the developing world to avoid subordination to Washington or Moscow. Now China is the one subjugating others.  All around the world, and unfortunately, in Curaçao, these communists are finding people willing to sell out their own countries to benefit the mother country, China. 

Willemstad, Curaçao


Author: alexdavidrosaria

Alex Rosaria is from Curaçao. He has a MBA from University of Iowa. He was Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and United Nations Development Programme Officer in Africa and Central America. He is an independent consultant active in Asia and the Pacific.

One thought on “This is how China does it”

  1. You are 100% correct and I often wonder why this is not brought to the attention of the people more frequently. Is it because the Chinese are so good at corruption and pay offs considering their history where graft has been evolved into a cultural manifestation?


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