China's Expansion into the Western Hemisphere

China's Expansion into the Western Hemisphere: Implications for Latin America and the United States

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 276
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  • Book Info
    China's Expansion into the Western Hemisphere
    Book Description:

    With President Hu Jintao's November 2004 visit to Latin America, China signaled to the rest of the world its growing interest in the region. Many observers welcome this development, highlighting the benefits of increased trade and investment, as well as diplomatic cooperation, for both sides. But other analysts have raised concerns about the relationship's impact on Latin American competitiveness and its implications for U.S. influence in Washington's traditional backyard. In China's Expansion into the Western Hemisphere,experts from Latin America, China, and the United States, as well as Europe, analyze the history of this triangular relationship and the motivations of each of the major players. Several chapters focus on China's growing economic ties to the region, including Latin America's role in China's search for energy resources worldwide. Other essays highlight the geopolitical implications of Chinese hemispheric policy and set recent developments in the broader context of China's role in the developing world. Together, they provide an absorbing look at a particularly sensitive aspect of China's emergence as a world power. Contributors include Christopher Alden (London School of Economics), Robert Devlin (ECLAC), Francisco González (Johns Hopkins-SAIS), Monica Hirst (Torcuato Di Tella University), Josh Kurlantzick (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Xiang Lanxin (Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva), Luisa Palacios (Barclays), Jiang Shixue (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Barbara Stallings (Brown University), Juan Tokatlián (San Andrés University), and Zheng Kai (Fudan University).

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-7554-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. 1 Introduction: Assessing the Implications of China’s Growing Presence in the Western Hemisphere
    (pp. 1-24)

    At the outset of the twenty-first century, China is a rapidly rising global presence. Assessing the implications of its growing economic, political, and security influence is a difficult but critical endeavor because of the potentially serious consequences of misjudging China’s intentions and the true scope of its power.¹ China’s self-proclaimed “peaceful rise” has led to several major intellectual debates about the changing international landscape, including whether U.S. hegemony has begun an inexorable decline.² Among the most salient debates is whether an emerging multipolar international system, with an increasingly powerful European Union (EU) and Asian bloc, will have a destabilizing effect...

  5. PART ONE The Changing Landscape in Sino–Latin American Relations:: Views from China and Latin America

    • 2 The Chinese Foreign Policy Perspective
      (pp. 27-43)

      Contact between China and Latin America can be traced back to the 1570s, when Sino–Latin American trade across the Pacific began to flourish. China exported silk, porcelain, and cotton yarn to Mexico and Peru in exchange for silver coins and other items. In the nineteenth century, peasants from southern China traveled to South America and the Caribbean as contract laborers to work in mines and plantations. Yet until recently, Latin America was a largely unfamiliar region for most people in China. Significant language, cultural, geographic, and political barriers, coupled with poor media coverage of the region, explains to some...

    • 3 An Alternative Chinese View
      (pp. 44-58)

      China’s success in expanding its influence in Latin America is changing the geopolitical dynamics of the Western Hemisphere. To mitigate the resulting reactions of alarm and preoccupation about the potential long-term impact of China’s expansion into the region, the Chinese launched a diplomatic offensive to convince other nations that what China is experiencing is a so-called peaceful rise. Furthermore, China claims that its presence in Latin America is not driven by ideological factors, nor is it intended to affect third parties, in particular the United States. This peaceful offensive seems to have a more positive reception in Latin America, whereas...

    • 4 A View from Latin America
      (pp. 59-89)

      At the start of the twenty-first century, political, economic, and security relations between Latin America, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the United States have been marked by uncertainty about the future, increasing complexity, and, as Xiang Lanxin argues in chapter 3, the return of geopolitics. In this scenario the policies of a dominant superpower inevitably intersect with those of an ascendant power whose presence is growing in a peripheral region. Furthermore, current Sino–Latin American–U.S. dynamics are unfolding in a historic, political, and social context that could potentially lead to either conflict or cooperation or a combination...

    • 5 A South-South Perspective
      (pp. 90-108)

      This chapter focuses on two interconnected dimensions of the China–South American relationship: South-South relations and multilateral diplomacy.¹ When the cold war ended, these two dimensions of the relationship between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and South America strengthened considerably, as China emerged on the international arena as a defender of a multipolar world order and as a key actor vis-à-vis the developing world (for an overview of China’s foreign policy priorities during and after the cold war era, see chapter 2, by Jiang Shixue).

      The visit by President Yang Shangkun in 1990 to several Latin American countries ushered...

  6. PART TWO Sino–Latin American Economic and Energy Issues:: What Lies Ahead?

    • 6 China’s Economic Rise
      (pp. 111-147)

      Internationally, China is increasingly perceived as something of an economic juggernaut. In Latin America, China’s expansion in the world economy has caused pain in some countries hit by competition in third markets.¹ For raw material exporters, the expanding competitive edge of China is temporarily masked by China’s demand for their products. For most countries in Latin America, China represents the potential for increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and for greater strategic cooperation.

      In the context of competition and complementarities (see chapter 7, by Francisco González, for a detailed assessment of this subject), China’s emergence is often interpreted in narrow terms...

    • 7 Latin America in the Economic Equation—Winners and Losers: What Can Losers Do?
      (pp. 148-169)

      This chapter highlights why some Latin American countries have benefited more than others in their economic relationships with China and examines whether those affected negatively can contain their losses.¹ By and large, economic gains have been thus far a function of the commodity lottery and the extent to which the Chinese economy and that of individual Latin American countries are complementary or substitutable. However, this is not a permanent equilibrium. As the global marketplace allocates resources and opportunities at lower costs and shorter delivery times, China and the countries of Latin America will need to keep adjusting their short-term political...

    • 8 Latin America as China’s Energy Supplier
      (pp. 170-190)

      Oil trade flows have not experienced the same surge as other commodities driving Latin America’s trade explosion with China in recent years, nor is a surge likely to occur in the foreseeable future. Not only does the outlook for oil production and consumption raise questions about the region’s own energy balances, but it is clear that Latin America’s oil exports to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while still modest, are just one piece in the large puzzle of China’s quest for energy sources worldwide. That said, Chinese energy links with Latin America have different manifestations depending on whether you...

  7. PART THREE The Broader Context:: Lessons for Latin America from China’s Role in Southeast Asia and Africa

    • 9 China’s Growing Influence in Southeast Asia
      (pp. 193-212)

      In November 2000 Jiang Zemin made his first visit to Cambodia. Arriving at the airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, the owlish and normally stiff leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offered a brief greeting to his Cambodian hosts.¹ He was whisked into a motorcade, which rumbled through the streets, avoiding the cavernous ruts that dotted Sihanouk Boulevard, a main street. Most mornings, activity in Phnom Penh all but stops when the morning heat begins to rise. But on this morning, the city resembled one in a devoutly Catholic nation during a papal visit. More than 100,000 Cambodian...

    • 10 China’s New Engagement with Africa
      (pp. 213-236)

      Nowhere in the world is China’s rapid rise to power more evident than in Africa.¹ From multibillion-dollar investments in oil and mineral development to the influx of Chinese consumer goods, China’s economic influence is redefining Africa’s traditional ties with the international community.² Two-way trade, which stood at less than $10 billion in 2000, has surged to nearly $40 billion in 2006, while in the same period China’s share of Africa’s trade has jumped from 2.6 percent to more than 6.0 percent, making it the continent’s third largest trading partner after the United States and France.³ Africa has drawn new diplomatic...

  8. PART FOUR The United States, China, and Latin America:: What Kind of Triangle?

    • 11 The U.S.–China–Latin America Triangle: Implications for the Future
      (pp. 239-260)

      A rising Asian giant challenges the United States on not only a global basis but even in Latin America, long considered to be part of the U.S. sphere of influence. The new competitor runs up a huge trade surplus with the United States and buys prominent U.S. companies. In Latin America its thirst for natural resources leads to investment and trade deals in Brazil’s iron ore and soy sectors and in Chile’s copper industry. Talks are held on how to transport Venezuela’s heavy oil to Asia and how to integrate it into plants designed to use lighter grades of crude....

  9. About the Authors
    (pp. 261-262)
  10. Index
    (pp. 263-276)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-277)