China's Relations with Latin America: Shared Gains, Asymmetric Hopes

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Date Published:

Jun 1, 2006


The relations between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and nearly all Latin American countries blossomed during the first half of the first decade of the twenty-first century. “China fever” gripped the region. Latin American presidents, ministers, business executives and journalists “discovered” China and its rapidly growing impact on the world’s economy and on Latin America itself.

The principal explanation for this boom in “China fever” was China’s own economic boom and its widening and deepening worldwide spread. In the current decade, Sino-Latin American trade, and economic relations more generally, have grown at a spectacular pace. Improved political relations were a necessary part of the expansion in economic relations because intergovernmental agreements facilitate economic relations, but the exuberance of the economic boom outpaced the improvement in political relations. Military or militarily-sensitive relations changed little, notwithstanding the fears of some in the United States and elsewhere over this question.


Also Inter-American Dialogue Working Paper. Washington, DC: 2006.

Last updated on 07/26/2016