Known for its spices and a 1983 invasion by the US, the tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada has been given a comprehensive infrastructure and development blueprint by China.
Beijing’s plan sees the construction of large projects on the island, home to around 100,000 people, including a highway connecting major towns and a railway encircling it.
Deepwater ports for cruise and cargo ships, a large wind farm and a modernised airport with longer runways are also envisaged.
Developed by the China Development Bank at the request of the Grenadian government, the plan is complete and "should be in the hands of the Grenadian government already", a researcher who helped draw it up told The South China Morning Post.
According to the Post, the plan also sees an economic future for Grenada as an offshore tax haven.
Thirty-four years ago the US under President Ronald Reagan drew international condemnation for its invasion of the island, involving some 7,000 troops, which followed violent upheaval in Grenada’s People’s Revolutionary Government.
A focus of tension in the run-up to the invasion was Grenada’s plans for a new airport, which the US claimed could be used by Soviet aircraft.
The Chinese foreign ministry told the Post earlier this month that the Grenadian government "assumed the primary responsibility for the development of their own country" but that China was "willing to provide necessary assistance to their economic and social development upon request".
According to the plan, an economic centre would be built around the capital, St George’s (pictured), with a central business district, industrial zone and cargo transport hub.
Grenada’s central mountainous area would be left as a national park but five other districts would be dedicated, to renewable energy, agriculture and fruit processing, fishing, general tourism and medical tourism.
Image: St George’s, the capital of Grenada (Wikimedia Commons)