China's Growing Presence in Latin America
Seminar with Jiang Shixue, Vice President of the Chinese Association of Latin American Studies and Research Director at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and R. Evan Ellis, Assistant Professor, Center for Hemispheric Defence Studies, NDU, Washington DC. Chair: Françoise Nicolas, Director, Ifri Center for Asian Studies.
China"s interest in Latin America has grown considerably in recent years. Two-way trade has increased by nearly fifteen-fold in the past decade - from $12.6 billion in 2000 to $183 billion in 2010 - while people-to-people exchanges intensify and high-level visits become more frequent and substantial. These expanding relations are often trumpeted on both sides of the Pacific as an opportunity for win-win development and south-south cooperation. Yet creeping suspicions about the real intentions and ultimate impact of China"s growing presence in the region are becoming more salient. Some analysts in Latin America interpret China"s actions as a simple play on the region"s natural resources, while others view a larger geopolitical struggle for influence with the United States.