Caribbean must move beyond bipolar world

Caribbean must move beyond bipolar world

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Dear Editor,
It is no secret that US influence globally has been declining. Even before Donald Trump's presidency the US saw sharp declines in its share of the world income and influence. With China's rise in the periphery, the US is confronted by the possibility of the Thucydides Trap — the tendency towards war when a rising power, in this case China, emerges.

With the future of the international world order uncertain, Caribbean countries must turn to each other and other low- and middle-income states for growth and development opportunities.

As the US looks toward a Joe Biden presidency, so too the international community is looking forward to a new foreign policy. Biden largely ran on a “fixing Trump's mistakes” foreign policy. His foreign policy of seven pillars includes statements like defending America's vital interests, expanding diplomacy, and ending wars forever. This should be taken with caution, as the US, despite the rhetoric, has a history of aggressive and hegemonic foreign policy.

Even as COVID-19 continues to ravish the globe, climate change and other global ills have not taken a break. The Caribbean cannot wait on the US to regain its footing to begin acting. Caribbean regional integration has been around for decades and is still thriving. While some nations have been slow to implement integration policy, the institutions that have arisen from existing policies have served us well. For example, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has stepped up in the region and provided a central location for COVID-19 information and resources in the region. This is just one example of regionalism working to positively impact the lives of Caribbean people.

Caribbean south-south relations largely happen with Latin America because of proximity, and there has been significant progress in strengthening Caribbean-Africa relations through Caricom and the African Union. The Caribbean must continue to pursue these partnerships and extend beyond the US/China bipolar world and lead the charge in creating a non-aligned and multipolar world where small states have an equal voice.

Paige Samuels


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