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New Perspectives on China’s Engagement in the Americas

Image via Flickr/ Cancillería del Ecuador (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Margaret Myers,

The Inter-American Dialogue’s Asia and Latin America Program looks forward to partnering with The China Global South Project to share key insights from our analysis on China’s evolving relationship with the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.

For over a decade, our team has tracked developments in the China-LAC relationship, whether in the economic realm, the political sphere, or at the firm level.

We are perhaps best known for our efforts to track China’s financial activity in the region. For seven years now, we have worked with the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, another of the China Global South Project’s partners, to co-produce the China-Latin America Finance Database, which documents instances of Chinese sovereign lending to the region from 2005 to the present. We also recently began documenting instances of commercial bank lending in our China-Latin America Commercial Loans Tracker. Commercial bank finance to LAC has increased in recent years, just as policy bank finance dipped to an all-time low.

Much of our other work aims to understand how the BRI’s various “connects/通” have taken shape across the LAC region in recent years. This includes assessments of China’s infrastructure connectivity, certainly, but also developments in investment and trade facilitation, including at the subnational level, and people-to-people connectivity, including through now-expansive educational exchange and other forms of diplomacy. Our blogs and interviews with experts in the region highlight other, key developments in the relationship.

In addition to our research agenda, we also work to cultivate networks of established and up-and-coming experts. Our China-Latin America Young Scholars program brings together emerging opinion leaders from Latin America, China, and the U.S. to engage in collaborative research on timely policy issues. And our China-Latin America Working Group, established in 2011, engages experts and practitioners to consider key political and economic trends in the China-LAC dynamic.

In addition to our partnership with the China Global South Project, the Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to collaborate with wide-ranging other institutions in Latin America and Asia to conduct joint research, hold roundtable discussions, or disseminate key findings. Our recent partners include Universidad del Pacífico, the Brazilian Center for International Relations, the Asia-Pacific Foundation, Universidad Católica del Uruguay, the Centre on Asia and Globalisation, and the Japan Association of Latin America and the Caribbean, among others.

The Asia and Latin America Program is one of five programs housed within the Inter-American Dialogue, a Western Hemisphere affairs think tank based in Washington, D.C., with an additional office in Guatemala City, Guatemala. All five of our programs aim to produce evidence-based, non-partisan research and policy recommendations for our partners and members across the hemisphere and, in the case of the Asia program, to also engage with stakeholders in China, Singapore, and Japan.

Margaret Myers is director of the Asia and Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue.

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