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This article examines the little-covered relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Suriname as a relative outlier with respect to the dynamics of globalization. In contrast to its engagement with other nations, China’s investments in Suriname’s primary product sector and its sales of manufactured products to the country have been modest. Moreover, Chinese loan-backed construction work has not advanced as rapidly as assumed by some. Rather, Chinese presence consists of a rapidly expanding Chinese ethnic community which faces often tense relations with other parts of Suriname’s polyethnic society. This article aims to qualify the way in which the story of globalization is often told, and highlights emerging challenges accompanying the expansion of Chinese populations and businesses.