Tuesday, 29 July 2014



The leaders of CHINA, RUSSIA and JAPAN all descended on LATIN AMERICA in recent weeks, jostling with the UNITED STATES to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets.
The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in TRINIDAD and TOBAGO, the second stop on a five-country tour that began in MEXICO.

Abe’s visit began just as CHINESE President Xi Jinping wrapped up his tour, which included stops in BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, VENEZUELA and CUBA. Xi signed more than 100 trade agreements on the trip. RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin was in the region for a week from July 11, stopping in ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, NICARAGUA and CUBA.


The UNITED STATES remains LATIN AMERICA’S top trade partner, but gone are the days when Washington could take the region for granted as its backyard.
“In two or three more years, CHINA will displace the EUROPEAN UNION as the second most important trade partner of the region,” said Osvaldo Rosales, head of the international trade division a the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), a UNITED NATIONS agency.

“That probably explains prime minister Abe’s visit. For JAPAN and SOUTH KOREA it is important to counterbalance the increased ties the region is establishing with CHINA,” he told AFP. Even though Xi visited countries that denounce US “imperialism,” Rosales said his visit was “merely economic.”


“CHINA needs the natural resources that allow it to maintain a long-term growth rate of five to seven percent,” the CHILEAN-born economist said. CHINA is in the market for Chilean copper and timber, PERUVIAN gold and zinc, ARGENTINE beef, wheat and soybeans, BRAZILIAN sugar and corn and VENEZUELAN oil, among other commodities.
Yun Sun, East Asia expert at the Washington-based Stimson Center think-tank, said Xi’s trip partly sought to “strengthen CHINA’S ties with LATIN AMERICA, which is probably the weakest area in CHINA’S global strategy.”

While CHINA is boosting economic ties with the region, the ASIAN giant has a ways to go to catch up to the UNITED STATES, whose trade with LATIN AMERICA topped $800 billion in 2011, more than three times that of Beijing, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank.


Xi and Putin, who overlapped in BRAZIL, played to LATIN AMERICAN resentment toward perceived dominance of the region by JAPAN’S longtime ally the UNITED STATES.
Together WITH BRAZIL, INDIA and SOUTH AFRICA — their partners in the BRICS group of emerging nations — they announced a new $50 billion development bank and $100 billion reserve fund to rival the Western-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Xi also wooed LATIN AMERICAN leaders by proposing a new $20 billion infrastructure fund for the region. In communist CUBA, Xi signed deals on nickel and joint oil exploration in CUBAN waters of the GULF OF MEXICO. CUBA is a regional bridgehead for foreign powers in the trade competition with the UNITED STATES. Washington has had a economic embargo on the island since 1961, and the arrival of major US competitors shows that Latin nations no longer follow Washington’s wishes with ease.

“That CUBA can host Xi or Putin and sign agreements … is something that was absolutely unthinkable 10 or 15 years ago,” said Rosales. “It shows that we’re in a completely different international political context.”

Via yahoo news


  1. Hi Roy,

    Also important to mention is that China and/or Russia will build and finance huge sophisticated infrastructure projets: "Nestor Kirchner" and "Jorge Cepernic" dams in Patagonia by the Chinese (mounting to more than USD 10B) and two more nuclear reactors (one of natural Uranium and heavy water with Candu technology, USD 5B, to be built by a Chinese consortium, and a soon-to-be-assigned one based on enriched Uranium).

    Western powers shot themselves on the foot when approaching LATAM infrastructure. For instance, previously to negotiate with the Chinese, Cristina Kirchner approached Harper to get an agreement to the Candu technology reactor, since it was developed by Canada (Candu = Canadian Uranium Deuterium), but Harper rejected the proposal since he wanted Argentina to solve first its dispute with the vulture funds (a way to align with them by denying technology for further economic development).

    That way, Harper closed a door for Canadian jobs. If the Chinese proove reliable and efficient, nuclear Canadian companies will be on a cost disadvantage for the next tender round of nuclear reactors to be built (Argentina electrical consuption is growing and needs to reduce oil imports to keep currency for critical goods and services).

    Unfortunately, Western powers have a narrow mindset of solving geopolitical problems almost exclusively by military meand, and this example proves how wrong they are. Chinese get stronger that way.

    Thanks for the mention on the previous post,


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