Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement with Latin America   [open pdf - 7MB]

From the Conclusion: "In the realm of security and defense, the United States, the PRC [People's Republic of China], and Latin America are bound by interdependence. China's engagement with Latin America, both military and commercial, impacts the security and defense environment of the region, both positively and negatively. At the same time, the United States is linked to Latin America in geographic, economic, and human terms. What happens with respect to the security environment in the region impacts the United States. Finally, the US-PRC relationship affects, and is affected by, Latin America. If the global strategic competition between the United States and the PRC degenerates into a new geopolitical conflict, Latin America will be one of the battlefields in which that competition plays out. Reciprocally, the outcome of US-PRC interaction in Latin America has ramifications for the interaction between the two powers globally; if the US and China come to 'square off' over an issue in Latin America such as Chinese support for ALBA or the activities of Chinese telecommunications companies, it could propel the global PRC-US relationship toward conflict. On the other hand, if the US and the PRC find a path to cooperate and build confidence in Latin America, it could define the path for the two powers to avoid conflict as they necessarily co-exist and interact globally. In the process of working with the PRC in Latin America, the United States faces the risk of prematurely ceding strategic terrain to the PRC and thus accelerating its own global demise. Clearly, such collaboration much be managed with the utmost caution and with 'eyes wide open' on all sides. At the same time, the US may have few other good choices. Cautious collaboration with the PRC may be the best option that the United States has to positively impact the rules of the game in which the PRC presence in Latin America and the broader emerging global competition between the United States and the PRC play out."

Report Number:
Perry Paper Series, No.1
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies: https://www.williamjperrycenter.org/
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