General Laura Jane Richardson, the head of the US Southern Command, told the House of Representatives this week that “China continues to expand its influence” in Latin America and “manipulates” its governments through “predatory investment practices.”
Loans by China's state-owned banks to Latin American countries rose by 71% to 22bn dollars in 2014, according to estimates published by the China-Latin America Finance Database. The figure is the second largest on record for Chinese lending in Latin America, according to the report.
After the BRICS summit and a visit to Brazil, China's President Xi Jinping is embarking on a tour of Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba in a bid to boost ties and gain clout in the region, as analyst Victor Mijares tells Deutch Welle.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived on Monday to Fortaleza, Brazil for a summit of the BRICS countries. The sixth summit of the BRICS, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will be held in Brazil from Tuesday to Wednesday.
China loaned 102 billion dollars to Latin America between 2005 and 2013, mainly to Venezuela and Argentina, while Mexico seems to be going the same way, according to a release from the Global Economic Governance Initiative which depends from the University of Boston.
Over the past decade China has become a key partner for Latin America and the Caribbean with bilateral trade increasing 22 fold between 2000 and 2012, albeit with a strong deficit for Latin American countries, according to Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The party is over” and Latinamerican countries should be concerned since the Chinese economy is slowing down, apparently entering a low growth period and many in the region have become notoriously ‘China-dependent’ after a decade of strong expanding sustained bilateral relations.
Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, will visit the headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, on Tuesday 26 June to deliver a lecture.