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U.S. Army War College

Learning from Latin America

R. Evan Ellis
R. Evan Ellis Book

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In "Learning From Latin America,” in China, Europe, and the Pandemic Recession: Beijing’s Investments and Transatlantic Security," John Deni, ed.

Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College Press), 2022, pp. 199-214.

This chapter examines Chinese engagement in Latin America and draws insights from patterns as well as possible connections with European companies and institutions—insights and connections that may be useful in understanding the strategic impact of 
Chinese engagement in Latin America on Europe.

In Latin America, as elsewhere, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is pursuing a principally economically oriented strategy, although the PRC also pursues goals in the political, institutional, and security spheres to support those economic objectives. 

Chinese companies, with the support of the Chinese government, are engaging in Latin America to secure sources of commodities and foodstuffs as well as access to markets for Chinese goods and services, particularly in value-added, strategic sectors.1

These efforts are consistent with Chinese initiatives such as Made in China 2025.2 In pursuing its goals in Latin America, the PRC implicitly, and often self-consciously, employs the lure of its enormous markets as well as its power as a lender and investor. China leverages its government in multiple ways, both facilitating multisector deals 
and leveraging its control of access to the PRC...