The Asian nation finds new allies in Latin America
After the meeting between the President of Chile Michelle Bachelet and the Minister of International Relations Wang Yi, at the end of January this year, it was known that the agreement of the "Silk Road" would include 32 members of CELAC. It is worth noting that Venezuela is not included.
The "One Belt - One Road" agreement (OBOR), also known as the "Silk Road", aims to unite countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America in a single trading community. Although there is no formal agreement signed between China and Latin America, Wang Yi offered a "strategy of mutual benefit and win - win".
So far, the only signatory country of the "Silk Road" is Panama, while exports from Chile and Peru to China now exceed 200 trillion dollars, with annual growth of 35%. This figure makes them strong trading partners.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank, China's interest in the region focuses on oil and minerals, whose prices have increased. In addition, the Asian nation is interested in holding loans with all countries in Latin America, amounts exceeding $ 9 trillion to 250 trillion dollars investments for 2018.
China had a special interest in Venezuela, but due to the current situation in the country, and its high level of debt, the Asian nation preferred to do business with Brazil; there, China has bought power plants. Additionally, in Argentina, China is building a high level railway. Among its investments, China also includes Colombia, with the development of a road to the port of Buenaventura on the Pacific.
The General Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Marcos Galvao, in late January, told Reuters, "our relations with China are very spacious, the CELAC is a way more for Brazil to work with China and together we identify more cooperation areas".
The "Silk Road" is a political-economic project that secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, began 5 years ago, taking its first step when visiting Russia in order to open up a new trade routes between Asia, Europe, and Africa. This in order to expand the market in phases: political communication, monetary circulation, strengthen friendship among nations, the vital connectivity and fluidity. For some analysts, the situation seems like "China's new world order".
The ambitious Chinese project goes beyond infrastructure investments. The idea is to create a "Silk Road" not only in land but also in sea with 60 countries worldwide.
The idea of "Silk Road" is not new. In the nineteenth century, the geologist Ferdinand Richthofen proposed the name for the 8,000 commercial kilometers between Asia and Turkey. This silk route from China, whose production was kept secret, led to the conflict between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire, which was comprised of what now northern Iran is.
This new business alliance was created in response to the restrictions of former US president Barack Obama. The former president excluded China from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. The decision led China to seek new ties with Latin America and Russia.
The "Silk Road" is scheduled for completion in 2049, the year that also celebrates 100 years of the Chinese Revolution.
Latin American Post | Luis Alfonso Fernández
Translated from “¿De qué se trata el nuevo orden mundial chino?”