China Global Podcast:

China in Latin America and the Caribbean

January 11, 2022

China’s engagement with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown significantly in the past decade. The Chinese government describes its cooperation with the region as focused on numerous areas: trade and investment, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and technological innovation. Nineteen governments across Latin America and the Caribbean have joined Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.

Competition between China and Taiwan in the region remains fierce, with eight countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Taipei and the remaining 25 recognizing Beijing. Nicaragua was the latest to switch recognition to the PRC on December 9, 2021.

US concerns about Chinese activities and objectives in the region are on the rise. In the final year of the Trump administration, the United States issued a strategic framework for the Western hemisphere, which included among its priorities countering economic aggression and malign political influence from external actors such as China. The 2021 Posture Statement of the US Southern Command warns that China is “seeking to establish global logistics and basing infrastructure in our hemisphere.”

Dr. Evan Ellis joins Bonnie Glaser to discuss Chinese intentions, influence, and impact in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is a research professor of Latin American Studies at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute and previously served in the State Department on the Policy Planning Staff.

More Episodes of China Global

China’s rise has captivated and vexed the international community. From defense, technology, and the environment, to trade, academia, and human rights, much of what Beijing does now reverberates across the map. China Global is a new podcast from the German Marshall Fund that decodes Beijing’s global ambitions as they unfold. Every other week, host Bonnie Glaser will be joined by a different international expert for an illuminating discussion on a different aspect of China’s foreign policy, the worldview that drives its actions, the tactics it’s using to achieve its goals—and what that means for the rest of the world.