Marsh Harbour on the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Bahamas soon will seek billions in foreign aid after Hurricane Dorian, and the Trump administration is considering the national security implications if China rushes to help.

Why it matters: China has projected power around the globe through its infrastructure spending, and this will create an opening for massive investments just off U.S. waters.

Sources tell Axios that the U.S. is working with Bahamian officials to help them navigate the bureaucracy to pursue avenues of assistance.

  • Administration sources say it's too soon for detailed conversations on how the China rivalry could play out in the hurricane's aftermath.
  • But officials involved in diplomacy, national security and foreign assistance understand that will be part of the equation after the initial response. 

The big picture: The official Bahamas tourism site has a whole page on "Our Proximity to the United States," with one island "[j]ust 50 miles off the coast of Florida" and Nassau, the capital, a "45-minute plane ride from Miami."

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative intertwines his nation with countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa by investing in ports, railways, power grids, gas pipelines, oil pipelines and other massive infrastructure developments.

President Trump's approach to the Bahamas could be shaped by a foreign policy that includes supporting regime change in Venezuela; interest in buying Greenland from Denmark; trying to limit the reach of Chinese telecom giant Huawei into the U.S. and allies; and the trade war with Beijing.

  • Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was among the Caribbean leaders who visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago in March after agreeing to stand with the U.S. in supporting Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
  • In exchange, Trump promised enhanced U.S. lending and investment. The White House previewed the summit by saying Trump is "working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices."

Between the lines: Huawei has already spent years investing in telecom infrastructure and hardware in Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas. Large swaths of the Bahamas' wiring has been wiped out and must be restored.

Go deeper: China's road to global dominance

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.