Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets China's President Xi Jinping. (AP)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets China's President Xi Jinping. (AP)


How China's Billions Are Hurting Latin America

By Eric Farnsworth

Beijing's political leverage has increased across Latin America just as Washington’s has declined, writes AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth in New York Post.

There aren’t many issues that unify Washington right now like the desperate hope its pro football team will return to glory under new ownership.

One issue that does—perhaps the only one—is increasing bipartisan concern about the challenge China poses to U.S. interests both at home and abroad.

It’s not a football game but something more serious: a global chess match with a near-peer authoritarian economy. Yet as any football fan knows, you first have to compete in your own division if you want to get to the Super Bowl.

And so it is with global politics. If you don’t pay adequate attention to your own backyard, someone else will muscle into the neighborhood. In the Americas, economies are troubled, insecurity has spiked, and voters are restless.

With the United States focused elsewhere, China has seen opportunity and solidified its position via financial largesse; it is now the top trade partner for most of South America and the largest sovereign debt holder.

Trade between China and the region reached a record $445 billion in 2021, up from just $12 billion in 2000, and foreign investment has charted a similar path with Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador the leading recipients.

No wonder Beijing’s political leverage has increased so significantly across Latin America and the Caribbean just as Washington’s has declined...

Read the full article.