The Cipher Brief: What are China’s strategic interests in Latin America? Does this pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy objectives in the region?
Dr. Evan Ellis: China’s interests in the region are primarily economic in nature, but this does not make them any less strategic, nor any less impactful for the region or the position of the United States. These interests include:
- Reliable access to primary products, such as petroleum, minerals, and metals to feed the Chinese demands for industrial production, capital formation, and urbanization
- Access to agricultural goods (principally animal feed such as soybeans and fishmeal) to help the PRC feed its 1.35 billion people
- Markets for Chinese goods and services, particularly as PRC-based companies move up the value-added chain
- Access to technology in order to achieve Chinese industrial competitiveness, particularly in strategically valuable industries, such as defense, electronics, and aerospace, and indirectly, to support a strong state with a diversified economic base
To read the rest of Evan Ellis’ interview, please visit The Cipher Brief.