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Montevideo, January 21st 2019 - 16:04 UTC

Chinese president in Latinamerica

Tuesday, April 10th 2001 - 21:00 UTC
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Chinese president Jiang Zemin, and a delegation of 110 officials and businessman are currently in a two weeks visit to Latinamerica that will extend until April 17th., including Mercosur members, plus Cuba and Venezuela. The visit with a clear trade and investment promotion objective, nevertheless has a political impact as China is growingly becoming the challenging world power of the United States as illustrated by the recent air incident in the Hainan island, with the loss of a Chinese pilot and the retention of 24 US Navy crewmembers. The first country Mr. Jiang Semin visited was Chile, which has a thriving trade with China, almost two billion US dollars, and a long diplomatic relation dating back to 1970, the first with a South American country. The following stops were in Argentina and Uruguay, both countries very much interested in increasing agricultural commodities sales to China. Brazil was Mr. Jiang Semin's next, not only China's main trade partner in South America, but an important political ally, and strong candidate to become a member of the UN Security Council. Brazil is also a regional power that does not automatically align with the US. Chinese president last calls will be in Cuba, that is longing to establish strong economic and investment connections with China, and Venezuela, whose current government has been at odds with US foreign policy and is a strong promoter of a robust OPEC and its latest attempt to stabilize oil prices between 24/28 US dollars a barrel. China is also a leading world oil producer. The official pictures of Mr. Jian Semin with Mercosur leaders, plus Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez will be hard to swallow for a Bush administration that promised priority to "our Latinamerica neighbors".

Categories: Mercosur.

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