Of Dragons & Elephants
China's growing influence on Latin America has, to some extent, overshadowed the rise of another emerging market giant in the East: India. By Javier Santiso*
China's economic effect is palpable throughout the world.
The Asian giant's impact reaches even the most remote corners
of the planet, like Africa, where it's displacing centuries-old
European influence. In most of Latin America, meanwhile, China
is turning into a commercial angel as it hops into what is
looking less and less like the United States' backyard. Because
of its focus on raw materials, Latin America is seemingly one
of the most complementary regions for the Asian dragon. The
value of Venezuelan crude shipments to China, for example,
topped $3 billion in 2005, or twice the year before. While the
US is still the biggest importer of Venezuelan crude, growing
Sino-Latin solidarity, in particular between Beijing and
Caracas, hasn't gone unnoticed. Likewise, Latin America is
becoming a region of great interest for Chinese investors.
These tighter relationships center on an overseas
expansion strategy that has been adopted by China's
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