“Do not you want it? Okay, I’ll take it.” This is the message that China sends to the United States by increasing investment in Latin America.
“Chinese investments in LatAm countries soften the seriousness of the problems experienced in this region,” says Fa Hesheng, director of the Latin American Institute of Anhui University in China.
American isolationism, an opportunity for China
The spaces that the United States has left in the region, China is taking advantage of them. In recent years, China’s investment in Latin America has grown, says Hesheng.
However, this may be a temporary trend. The conflict on the border symbolizes the isolationism of the USA, but many members of Congress, both Democrats, and Republicans, oppose this policy.
South America needs China
In the last ten years, it had changed how China had made investments in Latin America. Before, most of their investments were going to Venezuela, while now they do not lend anything.
China has preferred to set its sights on Brazil and Argentina, where it is betting more on infrastructure development projects. These, as developing countries, have little buying capacity and Chinese investment can contribute to their growth.
Diversification of investments
It has also been observed in recent years a diversification of Chinese investments. One of the most notable examples is the purchase of 99, Brazilian taxi company, by Didi Chuxing, known as the “Uber of China.”
Chinese companies have also ventured into the development of algorithms for artificial intelligence, offering local governments solutions to improve transportation systems.
Latin Americans begin to recognize the names of Chinese companies, which aim to become important Big Tech players in the region.
A danger in the long term?
The United States has not liked the growing Chinese presence in Latin America. At least that’s what Frank Fannon, the deputy secretary of the State Department for energy products, sees. Fannon describes Chinese investments as “debt diplomacy,” for generating a situation of dependence on the Asian giant.
Fannon maintains that Chinese investments are an arm of the same State, unlike the North American investments that are, in their words “of association, not of control.”
However, the commercial dealings with China will inevitably begin to be preferred by the Latin American countries if the U. S. continues with its hostile foreign policy.