For some time now, China has become the most active and strategic “partner” in Latin America, the figures and the facts prove it, and it is that the carelessness and indifference of the United States, who should be due to proximity, Due to the geographical and territorial linkage, the best “friend” and investor in our region, has always postponed those efforts, underestimating this South America and putting rather greater emphasis on its interests and conflicts in the Middle East and Asia, and deploying and sharing all its power in Europe and all that portion of the planet outside our continent.
Taking advantage of this situation, China has burst into the region and has changed the rules of the game, like Beijing, by becoming Latin America’s first investor and second commercial partner, was able to take advantage of the strategic disinterest of the United States’ foreign policy, to assert itself as its rival with geopolitical implications in the short and long term.
The speed and depth of these changes contrast with the slowness with which Latin American elites have assimilated their scope; at a time of economic difficulties, the injection of loans from Beijing has been perceived as short-term salvation; And then the doubts arise as to whether now China rather manipulates our countries and takes the post left by the northern country; perhaps then it is time to conceive the idea that Latin Americans take their destiny into their own hands.
And although they are totally different political regimes, China and the United States would always try to keep Latin America under their influence. The United States claims to unrestrictedly support democratic values by denouncing leftist regimes but makes the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who has publicly demonstrated his admiration for dictatorships and questioned the convenience of democracy, his main ally in Latin America.
China, for its part, defends a harmonious relationship between peers, without interference, but the unequal conditions in which these agreements take place give China a capacity for influence such that agendas that are not to the liking of Beijing, such as the defense of human rights and freedom of expression, are progressively put aside in order to maintain the relationship with that country.
Wanting to stop that Chinese influence, the United States has criticized this action of the Orientals to disburse money to Latin America, read loans, considering said act as a disguised trap via diplomacy, since that would stimulate corruption, the destruction of the environment and local jobs and would resent the rule of law; But it has not been very successful with this strategy, rather it has contributed to changing the profile of Chinese investments, which now win public tenders in more diverse and longer-term fields, even in countries close to the United States, such as Colombia.
This does not imply that Beijing renounces to exercise its power as a lender, while pressing so that our countries have to align themselves with Chinese policies, such as breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan, China’s irreconcilable enemy.
Latin America today finds itself in this new geopolitical scenario, with the United States that is always haughty, indifferent, and not very interested in our region and a China that attacks despite the sidereal distance that separates us; And although it is impossible to “separate” ourselves from North America, we should think that China’s financial and political influence will complicate and hinder the future of the company that once slipped into the “Monroe doctrine”, in which 200 years ago it was said that America was for the Americans and that the meddling of other nations from outside the continent would not be allowed.
There is still a long way to go for Latin America, but without a doubt priorities, interests, and “friends” are changing in this 21st century.