A recent report published by the Deutsche Bank revealed that China is rebalancing their economy, creating potentially devastating effects for Latin America. The report highlights the declining growth of real GDP as China shifts from a production to consumption based economy. The shift will have the largest effect on countries that primarily trade natural resources with China. The lessening of dependence on Latin America for metals such as iron ore, copper and crude oil will specifically hurt Chile and Venezuela.
China’s recent mini economic collapse this past summer caused mayhem not only within its borders but thousands of miles away in many Latin American countries. Ever since the early 2000s China has been one of the leading foreign investors across Latin America in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela.
When Chinese-Latin American bilateral relations are covered in the media, there is a tendency to refer to actors in a relationship using vague and ambiguous language. For example, discussions about Chinese-Latin American relations often refer to China as a monolithic entity, with very little differentiation of the specific Chinese people, organizations, or government agency involved.
A couple weeks ago I talked about the new trade and foreign direct investment deals occurring between Latin American countries and China. This subject dates back to the 2000s with the boom of China’s economy, but history between the two countries dates back to the colonial period when goods from both regions were highly prized and exploited.
Dr. Ariel Armony, director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and Nicolás Velásquez, a doctoral student of International Studies at the University of Miami, have paired together to analyze online commentaries and sentiments toward the Chinese population within Latin America.
On Friday, February 19th, historian, Elliot Young, gave a lecture on his recent book, Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americas from the Coolie Era through World War II. Dr.
Since the turn of the 21st century, China has become an increasingly important actor in Latin America, especially economically.
On Monday, March 22nd, Argentina’s Coast Guard sank a Chinese fishing vessel that was illegally fishing in Argentina’s waters. The Chinese vessel was in an economic exclusion zone near Puerto Madryn. Argentine officials state that the Coast Guard made repeated radio calls to the fishing vessel, in both English and Spanish, warning it to leave Argentine waters. The Coast Guard fired warning shots, yet the Chinese vessel continued the illegal activities.
Dr. Ariel Armony is the director of international programs and director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a prominent scholar in Chinese-Latin American relations. I had the pleasure of discussing with him the book Beyond Raw Materials: Who are the Actors in the Latin America and Caribbean-China Relationship, which Dr. Armony co-edited with Enrique Dussel Peters, the director of UNAM’s Centro de Estudios China-México.