Published on :
For his first tour of Latin America, Antony Blinken visited Ecuador and Colombia. The start of a reconquest operation for the head of American diplomacy, in a region where China is increasingly influential.
Colombia and Ecuador are two countries friends of Washington, two of the rare Latin American countries where the United States is still the first trading partner, just ahead of China. But probably not for very long. The Middle Empire, which already dominates trade in Latin America, could quickly supplant the United States in these two countries that it is courting among other things for their fossil fuel deposits, and in particular for their coal, which is in great demand at the moment. . The Colombian president even recently reactivated coal mines to revive his economy ravaged by the coronavirus, with the certainty of finding an outlet in the Chinese market. During the pandemic, Beijing scored points with vigorous vaccine diplomacy. Ecuador recently received 2 million doses made in usa, the Chinese had already shipped 13 million vaccines on the spot. Quito wants to complete a free trade agreement with the United States while negotiating a similar agreement with the great Asian rival.
As in Africa, the Chinese went to Latin America, first for raw materials
Iron, copper, soybeans, pork, and of course hydrocarbons are the main South American products imported by China to build its cities and feed its people. China has been shopping for basic necessities in this region for twenty years; the trade war launched by Donald Trump has increased his appetite tenfold. The Chinese sanctioned by the United States have preferred the Latino suppliers for corn or soybeans for example. This year with the early rebound of its economy, China resumed its imports at a sustained rate, they are welcome in this region severely affected by the pandemic.
According to Patricia Krause of Coface, China will remain the number one destination for Latino exports in the near future; and it is increasingly integrated into the local economy with the financing of infrastructure or equity investments in key sectors. A Chinese company bought the Peruvian electricity company, another took over half of the Chilean grid.
Despite this Chinese offensive, the United States remains the leading investor in Latin America
But China patiently weaves its web with Rsilk bags. It helps build bridges, roads, power grids, 5G networks, the cloud or surveillance systems. In response the Biden administration launched the initiative Build Back Better World, rebuilding a better world presented in the framework of the G7.
► Read also : the G7 wants to counter China and its “New Silk Roads”
An adviser to the American president preceded Antony Blinken in Colombia and Ecuador, with an additional stage in Panama, to offer in this framework comparable to the Silk Roads funding and American expertise in the field of renewable energies, digital or of medicine.
A welcome offer in all those countries that need foreign investment
They can now play on the competition between the two great powers. This strategy is not without risk. Because these investments are accompanied by counterparts. Ecuador, for example, benefited at the end of Donald Trump’s mandate from American financing to deleverage on the condition that Huawei was excluded from the deployment of 5G. And because this control is not always in the interest of development. Like the presence of the United States yesterday, that of China today is provoking more and more hostility among the population.
Real estate developer Evergrand’s stock collapses on the Hong Kong stock exchange
She lost 10% at the start of the session. A poor return to the stock market for the Chinese group struggling for its survival, it suspended its listing for 15 days to restore order to its finances but the sale of half of its assets failed; bankruptcy is still lying in wait for this group weighed down by an abysmal debt of 260 billion euros.