A report released recently by CQ Global Researcher provides a primer for students and academics on China's expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. Written by longtime international journalist Kenneth J. Stier, China in Latin America: Can Latin America Survive the Chinese Economic Juggernaut? raises the many questions attendant to such expansion—is Latin America benefiting? Does China threaten the Latin American economic model? Does it threaten the U.S.'s hegemony in the region? For additional analysis of these and other issues, see the Winter 2012 issue of Americas Quarterly.
China in Latin America: Can Latin America Survive the Chinese Economic Juggernaut?
China's global expansion has reached Latin America and the Caribbean, where the Asian giant has been pursuing an aggressive trade policy for a decade. Besides investing heavily in the region's abundant natural resources and shipping huge quantities of cheap industrial goods into the area, China is also interested in buying Latin America's food commodities—especially soybeans. While trade with China has provided a historic bonanza for Latin producers, a growing trade imbalance—favoring China—has soured the initial euphoria. In exchange for Latin America's raw materials, China exports manufactured goods that are clobbering Latin competitors, threatening to return the region to its 1970s-era over- dependence on commodity exports. China also has emerged as a major investor—and financier—for the region, helping it to weather the 2008-09 global recession. China's sudden emergence as a significant player in the hemisphere also has sparked concern that China might eventually undermine U.S. influence and interest in the vast region—a fear that Beijing carefully tries to assuage.
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