Strategic Insights: The China-CELAC Summit: Opening a New Phase in China-Latin America-U.S. Relations?   [open pdf - 28KB]

"On January 8-9, 2015, Beijing hosted the first ever ministerial-level forum between the PRC and the nations of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC). […] Since the People's Republic of China (PRC) began to open its economy in 1978, its relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean has passed through four phases. Prior to its 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), it conducted limited engagements through principally diplomatic and cultural vehicles aimed at building relationships and winning diplomatic recognition among countries of the region. As its commerce with the region began to take off in the years following WTO membership, the PRC increasingly benefitted from commodity purchases and the prospect of access to its markets in gaining the attention of political and business elites in the region. With the 2008 global economic crisis, Chinese loans and investment, and the activities of its companies in the region, assumed increasing importance in the relationship. Yet despite the interest declared in China's 2008 white paper toward Latin America and the Caribbean, the Chinese government remained cautious in going beyond economic, scientific, and cultural bonds with the region. In 2015, this policy is changing as the PRC is increasingly leveraging its appeal as a market and resource provider and forging political relationships that threaten to erode the position of the United States in the region."

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Army War College. Strategic Studies Institute http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil
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