In the last two decades, economic links between Latin America and the People’s Republic of China have been expanding at a dizzying rate.
Bilateral trade in 2000 was just $12 billion (1 per cent of Latin American’s total trade); now it stands at $315bn. In the same time period, China’s foreign direct investment in Latin America has increased by a factor of five.
Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, 19 of the 33 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region have signed up to the China-led global infrastructure development strategy.
Infrastructure projects have been a particular focus for Chinese firms. Writing in Foreign Policy in 2018, Max Nathanson observed that “Latin American governments have long lamented their countries’ patchy infrastructure.”Continue reading