China offers better model for LatAm

Updated 2018-02-06 10:13:06

Attack on nation's policy by U.S. official 'baseless'

China is taking a mutually beneficial approach to economic cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, while the U.S. is seeking to preserve its dominant position in the region under its protectionist "America First" strategy, two Chinese experts said on Monday.

The experts, who specialize in China's foreign trade and Latin America policies, were responding to recent comments from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who suggested that China's economic and trade activities in South America are "new imperial powers" and that Chinese investment in the region would come at "a price."

In a speech on Thursday ahead his first visit to the region as the top U.S. diplomat, Tillerson said that "Latin America does not need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people. China's state-led model of development is reminiscent of the past. It doesn't have to be this hemisphere's future."

"Such accusations are completely baseless and ignorant of the facts," Chen Fengying, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times. Chen pointed out that it is the U.S. that has long viewed Latin America and the Caribbean as its backyard and has acted accordingly.

"If any country is taking advantage of Latin America, it's the U.S., and it has been for a long time."

In his speech, Tillerson alluded to China's surging investment and trade cooperation with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, despite fast growth in recent years, Chinese investment in the region still falls far behind that of the U.S.

In 2016, even after taking mergers and acquisitions into account, China only ranked as the fourth-largest investor in Latin America and the Caribbean, after the U.S., the EU and Canada, according to the latest report on foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean from the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean released in August 2017.

Without mergers and acquisitions, China only accounted for 1.1 percent of foreign direct investment into the region, while the U.S. accounted for 20 percent and the EU accounted for 53 percent, the report said.

This indicates that the U.S. and the EU are far more eager to exploit Latin America and the Caribbean than China, Chen said.

Win-win model

The growth of Chinese investment in Latin America and the Caribbean has been boosted by a mutually beneficial model of bilateral cooperation, Guo Cunhai, deputy director of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"If this was not mutually beneficial or not welcomed by countries in the region, there is no way Chinese investment could rise so fast," Guo said. "Whether or not cooperation with China is beneficial for Latin America should be decided by people in the region, not by a U.S. official."

Tillerson in his speech warned against China's model of economic development, saying "China - as it does in emerging markets throughout the world - offers the appearance of an attractive path to development. But in reality, this often involves trading short-term gains for long-term dependency."

Guo said that China's policy is clear: "We are seeking equal, fair economic and trade cooperation without any conditions or interference in the countries' sovereignty or political issues."

That is in stark contrast with the U.S. model, which often comes with strict conditions and political interference, Guo said.

"Just look at this speech and others Tillerson gave during his trip to Latin America: It's basically him telling Latin American countries what they should or should not do."

Guo also said this kind of approach might be the reason why the U.S. "has been so negatively viewed, not just in Latin America but around the world, and blaming China is not going to change that."

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 18 2018 22:45:25

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 18 2018 22:45:25

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 18 2018 22:45:25

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords