China has been focusing its trade towards Cuba and has even usurped Obama’s visit by enabling a direct (with brief stop in Montreal to onboard more passengers) flight into Havana. As a boeing 777 with over 400 seats it is probably the largest airliner to be landing at Havana’s airport. Cuba already has 28,000 Chinese tourists visiting a year. And Huawei, the AT&T of China, is already becoming the defacto supplier for telecommunications equipment on the island country.
Excerpts from Blogger David Lenigas:
Trade between the two countries reached $1.5 Billion between January and September 2015. Cuban tourism authorities say they plan to have at least 85,000 hotel rooms available for tourists by 2020. They are going to need every one of these and more. Watch China lead the charge on this. They are already building Cuba’s second 18 hole golf course and resort. China has just raised the game. That will certainly help Cuba’s already successful economy, which runs with a surplus. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts GDP growth to exceed 4% out to 2019.
Small Chinatown in Havana Cuba:
Communist China has been a friend to Cuba for decades and is now set to fill the gap left by the Russians. The Cuban Government is seeking $2.6Billion in foreign investment in 2016, a drop in the ocean for China Inc. The Chinese already have over 13 resort projects worth over US$460 million underway on the Island.
China is being driven to more involvement in Cuba by pragmatism, not a shared Communist ideology. “Beijing has demonstrated that it will conduct business with left-leaning governments like Venezuela and Ecuador as readily as with right-leaning governments like Colombia,” Paul Nash, a China commentator for the Diplomatic Courier, wrote in a column. Nash argued that the partnership between Cuba and China represents Cuba’s ticket to international trade.
“If China can help Cuba’s economy reform such that [the island], like Vietnam, no longer justifies the embargo on the basis that Cuba’s economy is controlled by international communism, that might be the path to normalized relations [with the U.S.],” he added.