- Juan Pablo Cardenal, Author and Senior Researcher, Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America
- Jorge Guajardo, Former Ambassador of Mexico to the People's Republic of China
- Shanthi Kalathil, Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)
As the current U.S. government shifts its relationship with Latin America, China's influence in the region might expand from a commercial focus into political influence, experts said at the first panel of AS/COA's event China, Russia, and the Regional Democracy Agenda in Washington DC. Juan Pablo Cardenal talked about the Chinese Communist Party's presence in countries such as Argentina and Peru while Shanthi Kalathil reviewed the implications of recent agreements between China's CCTV and Latin American state television networks. Klathil raised the question on whether closer engagement with China will lead to changes within democratic systems as the country gains strengh in the technology sector and within Internet global systems. But Jorge Guajardo says he's still a "big skeptic" about Chinese strategy, saying it remains unclear and that the country has fallen short on delivering big game-changing promises such as the Nicaragua Canal.