[Marxism] China’s Claim in Latin America: So Far, a Partner not a Threat - COHA

Ralph Johansen mdriscoll at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 25 14:54:05 MDT 2008

Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)
/ July 25th, 2008 /

    China’s Claim in Latin America: So Far, a Partner not a Threat

By light years, Washington traditionally has held the upper hand when it 
comes to foreign influence on Latin America. Its hemispheric 
power-advantage rests on decades of security, trade, investment, and 
ideological connections. However, the era of globalization is now 
tearing down many of the world's hemispheric divides. Latin America is 
rapidly diversifying its international relations as major regional 
powerhouses, such as China, increase their presence in the region. Many 
view China's growing influence in the western hemisphere as a challenge 
to the U.S.'s historic regional supremacy. However, the struggle for 
power and influence need not automatically reflect a winner-take-all 
competition, as both outside megaliths can benefit from China's presence 
in Latin America.

*China's Economic Expansion*
China's phenomenal economic growth in the past quarter century has 
helped motivate Beijing to globalize its industries. From 1990-1998, 
China's average annual economic growth rate was 11.2 percent, compared 
to the world's average rate of 2.4 percent during the same time frame 
(China's Average Economic Growth Rate in the 90s Ranked 1st in the World 
2000) and the country's growth rate is projected to remain above 8.5 
percent for the next five years (Erikson 2008). Beijing's economic ties 
to Latin America have witnessed comparable growth: from 1993 to 2003, 
China's trade with Latin America increased by 600 percent (Xinhua News 
Agency 2004). Chinese president Hu Jintao set the mark for increasing 
trade with Latin America to $100 billion by 2010, a goal easily met when 
trade surged to $102.6 billion in 2007, which represents a 42.6 percent 
increase from 2006 (Erikson 2008).


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This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Jamie Heine.

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