Canning Insights

China and Latin America: Understanding and Assessing Chinese Interests and Activity

  • Online
  • 14:00-15:30 UK time

Canning House provides an overview of Chinese interests and activity in Latin America, and assess the motives behind China’s engagement in the region, taking into consideration its political and economic ambitions, defence and security matters, the role of state-owned companies, and implications for the environment.

China and Latin America

Understanding and Assessing Chinese Interests and Activity

Over the past two decades, China’s presence in Latin America has rapidly increased. From purchasing commodities to satisfy its burgeoning middle-classes, to loaning billions of dollars for infrastructure development projects, China’s presence now seems almost ubiquitous in the region.

The recent Covid-19 outbreak provided China with an opportunity to score some political points in the region by providing medical supplies to multiple countries in need. But beyond the pandemic, how profound is Chinese engagement in Latin America, and what are the drivers behind its interests?

This event will provide an overview of Chinese interests and activity in Latin America, and assess the motives behind China’s engagement in the region, taking into consideration its political and economic ambitions, defence and security matters, the role of state-owned companies, and implications for the environment. In particular, it will address the following questions:

  • What are China’s ambitions in Latin America?
  • What is driving its interest in the region?
  • How does China’s relationship with Latin American countries vary throughout the region?
  • Which Latin American countries retain links with Taiwan and why?
  • In what way has the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on China’s relations with Latin America, and is it taking advantage of the outbreak to advance its objectives in the region?
  • What is the view from Latin America - Is China’s presence a welcome alternative, or a worrying development?
  • What is the perspective from the US, and UK/EU on China’s increasing interest in the region?
  • What are the policies of China’s state-owned companies, what role do they play in advancing state objectives, and what impact do they have on the local economy?
  • What is the impact of China’s increasing activity in Latin America on the environment, and how does this compare with the level of impact of other non-Latin American states engaging in the region?
  • What role is China playing globally regarding COP26 and commitments to combatting climate change, and what are the implications for Latin America?

This event will be in EnglishSpanish and Portuguese simultaneous interpretation will be available online.

Agenda

  • China and Latin America

  • Welcome

    Ian Perrin, Head of Policy, Research, Operations, Canning House

  • Introduction

    Jeremy Browne, Honorary Vice-President Canning House; Former Minister of State with responsibility for South East Asia & Far East, Caribbean, Central & South America, Australasia and the Pacific

  • The Political Overview

    Margaret Myers, Director, Asia & Latin America Program, Inter-American Dialogue

  • The Economic Overview

    Tatiana PrazeresNon-Resident Senior Fellow, Center for China and Globalisation, Beijing; Former Foreign Trade Secretary, Brazil

  • Defence & Security

    Dr. Evan Ellis, Research Professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College

  • Implications for the Environment

    Robert Soutar, Managing Editor of Diálogo Chino

  • The Role of State-Owned Companies

    Peter Lu, Partner, Baker McKenzie

  • Group Q&A session

Questions?

Please contact us with any questions about this event.

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