A lot of people (particularly US Americans) have been speculating about and/or freaking out over China’s increasing economic power and global influence as of late. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that China’s been seeking to increase her political influence especially in what political scientists have long called “America’s backyard”–Latin America.
What exactly has China been up to? Not dividing and conquering, not exporting Chinese food or Marxism–but handing out loans to promote markets, especially in resource rich places like Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. A recent article published by the World Tribune offers some numbers for food for thought: China handed Brazil $8.6 billion last year, $7 billion to Argentina, and has given $56 billion to Venezuela since 2007.
John J. Metzler, UN correspondent, says that the United States “has increasingly taken Latin America for granted [and] is now challenged by China’s soft power diplomacy through hard cash loans.” The Chinese government has pledged to pump $500 billion into Latin America over the next decade.
The article also points out how $300 million of that will be put toward “a satellite tracking facility in the Neuquen region of Patagonia which will serve as part of China’s planned 2020 Moon launch program.”
So, while it remains to be seen what China will do with the soft power she acquires through trade with Latin America, come 2020, it will be difficult to deny that their trade is “out of this world.”
Posted by Hunter Carter