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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

Prosecutor: Fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was "justified"

Khalil Ferebee (C), the son of Andrew Brown Jr., and attorneys Bakari Sellers (L) and Harry Daniel (R) at a May 11 news conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday that the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies last month, was "tragic" but "justified," due to the immediate threat officers believed Brown posed.

Why it matters: The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown's death. Police in Elizabeth City shot him five times, including in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy report released by family attorneys last month.

McCarthy comes out against bipartisan deal on Jan. 6 commission

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will oppose a bipartisan deal announced last week that would form a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his office announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: McCarthy's opposition to the deal, which was negotiated by the top Republican and Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, underscores the internal divisions that continue to plague the GOP in the wake of Jan. 6.

3 hours ago - World

Beijing's antitrust push poses a problem for Western regulators

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government's anti-monopoly machinery presents a major challenge to U.S. and European regulators, a new book argues.

Why it matters: China's huge markets are attracting investment from multinational corporations and shaping the behavior of its own globe-trotting companies — giving international heft to the country's idiosyncratic antitrust enforcement and putting it on a collision course with Western-style regulation.