Chinese investment and lending in the region declined last year, in part reflecting skittishness over the deteriorating situation in Venezuela. Despite the drop, Chinese state-to-state finance continues to outstrip the World Bank, IDB and CAF.
Let’s be clear: NATO isn’t encroaching in the hemisphere, nor does China represent a stable path out of dependency for Latin America. The former is a convenient, traditional boogey man and the latter an ahistorical pipe dream.
The “golden decade” of Latin American economic growth and social mobility was not shared equally by indigenous groups. Unfortunately, all the World Bank can offer as an answer is the notion of “development with identity.” What?
The World Bank annual meeting in Lima, Peru this weeks offers a unique opportunity. While China’s massive investments in infrastructure are much-needed, they come with huge risks. The World Bank can reduce those by working with these new efforts—with all their capital—to apply the Bank’s experience in protecting the environment and local communities.