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China's Push Into "America's Backyard"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Shannon Tiezzi of The Diplomat,

The United States has been quite vocal about its “pivot to Asia,” but as Washington seeks to further its influence in the Asia-Pacific, China has been quietly upping its own importance to Central and Latin America. Now China is making a push to further its engagement with countries in the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the announcement of a new dialogue mechanism. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which met in Cuba from January 28 to 29, adopted a statement announcing the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum.

CELAC itself is a fairly new organization, having been established only in 2011, yet it has the potential to be an important political force. Last year, with Cuba as the rotating president, the organization focused on regional cooperation in education, anti-corruption, and natural disaster relief. CELAC also declared Latin America a “peace zone,” with countries agreeing to solve their differences peacefully, through dialogue. Cuban President Raul Castro, who headed this year’s CELAC summit in Havana, called CELAC “the legitimate representative of the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The China-CELAC Forum, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei, is designed to provide “an important platform for the growth of bilateral comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development.” Hong added that the establishment of this forum “fully speaks to the shared wish of Latin American and Caribbean states to enhance their overall cooperation with China.” The first meeting is expected to take place later in 2014.

China’s outreach to CELAC is only one part of a growing relationship with the Western hemisphere. China has become the second largest trading partner for Latin America–growth driven in part by China’s demand for natural resources. However, as in the case of Africa, China’s interests in the region are more complex than a simple need for raw materials. Central and Latin American countries are also attractive as markets for Chinese goods, as well as offering the potential for cooperation on the infrastructure projects Chinese construction companies so often undertake around the globe. In 2012, China’s bilateral trade with Latin America as a region increased over 8 percent to $261 billion.

On the political level, since 2001, China has signed strategic partnership agreements with five countries in the region: Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.  As a sign of the region’s importance, Xi Jinping visited Central America in June of last year, stopping in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago.  Several regional leaders have also made the trek to Beijing, including Equador’s Vice President Jorge Glas Espinel, Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, and Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer.

Adding an extra level of enticement for China, the majority of countries that still recognize Taiwan are located in Central America and the Caribbean. Though there’s currently somewhat of an unofficial truce on this issue between Taipei and Beijing, long term Beijing may seek to woo these 11 countries away from Taiwan.

Meanwhile, China’s engagement also helps highlight some regional ambivalence towards the United States. CELAC itself was conceived of as an alternative to the Washington-led Organization of American States. CELAC member states include every country in the Western hemisphere expect Canada and the United States, rather pointed omissions. The fact that the most recent CELAC summit was held in Havana only served to underscore a lack of coherent U.S. policy in the region. The U.S. still has in place an embargo on Cuba, which has outlived both logic and usefulness — something Raul Castro, in his speech to the CELAC summit, was not shy about pointing out.

Underlining the sentiments of some in CELAC, Castro warned that CELAC must be on guard against attempts by the U.S. to leverage the region for its own benefit. “The so-called centers of power do not resign themselves to having lost control over this rich region, nor will they ever renounce attempts to change the course of history in our countries in order to recover the influence they have lost,” he said. Partnering with China seems to be CELAC’s way of hedging against U.S. dominance in the region — just as some states in the Asia-Pacific are edging closer to the U.S. in a bid against growing Chinese power.


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Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:03 | 4416425 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Shannon downplayed Peru, BIG Chinese money flowing into there as well.



Costa Rica is small, but relatively large amounts of money from China is showing up there as well.  Joining all that Colombian money...

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:07 | 4416442 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

When you write money, do you mean gold?

Because gold is defined as money - or money by gold - and China has been buying hand over fist; my sources have seen it.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:17 | 4416467 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

China is "The Black Hole" when it comes to gold (I wish I had thought up that term, but it belongs to someone else).  Whatever gold goes in, never comes out.  In Peru's case, China is BUYING companies (they kicked off with iron processor HierroPeru years ago).  In Costa Rica, they funded the new soccer stadium, probably recycling US Treasuries...

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:48 | 4416562 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

China still remembers the Mongols taking their gold - and the West during the Opium Wars.  They will do what they can to preserve their current assets.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:51 | 4416691 infotechsailor
infotechsailor's picture

I won a national security scholarship towards finishing my undergrad at Oklahoma State, and a year subscription to StratFor (cut short by their hack attack) for writing about this topic in 2011.

My essay:

If you haven't read 'confessions of an economic hitman', I highly recommend it. Perhaps China will teach the United States some lessons on influencing people with economic ties, instead of simply political and military weapons.


Tyler et al, feel free to post my essay.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 01:01 | 4416700 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

confessions of an economic hitman...yes, great book. Read it on vacation a few years ago. Used book store near the beach. I will read your essay.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:26 | 4417077 stant
stant's picture

thanks for the link, good read

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 12:15 | 4417168 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Your assumptions about regional cooperaton and their threat to the US don't match your conclusions they will provide stability. Decent underclassman work, but edit, edit, edit. You might want to examine CIA and drug actions as they pertain to stability as well. See "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb ( he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head-twice). Further, all these nations have central banks- you need to start there.

Finally, the US playing the policeman has hardly contributed to global stability, it has merely guaranteed corporate access to global markets. I think we call it persuasion. Good luck!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 01:47 | 4431334 infotechsailor
infotechsailor's picture

Thanks Sean. Keep in mind, i was trying win a national security scholarship. I spent a lot of time writing it. I don't think i have to spell it out for you, but let's just say that i maintained awareness of the political persuasions of the judges while trying to make legitimate arguments. You follow?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 10:16 | 4417008 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

The Mongols?? Hell, the Chinese don't have to remember back that far. The Japanese did a very efficient job of separating them from their gold less than 80 years ago.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 02:01 | 4416761 bonin006
bonin006's picture

Why would china use gold as long as they can use paper? The gold is to keep, paper to trade for resources as long as possible.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 13:37 | 4417327 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

It's all sort of amusing, if one thinks about it.

DC US, by way of the FedRes' "printing," has shipped the American industrial base over to China. Making the American people dependent on China.

The Chinese then back stop the DC US by loaning them part of their profits via bond purchases. Making them dependent on China.

The Chinese then "recycle" the DC US' bonds into resources and infrastructure in other countries. Making them dependent on China.

When the music stops I don't believe that their will be a seat for the American people.


"Is it time for the guillotines yet?!"


Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:02 | 4416430 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Obama is a communist tool and a lazy, drug-addled chickenshit. Dollars to donuts, the Monroe Doctrine gets shitcanned on his watch.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:01 | 4416589 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Yep, Obama is a ChiCom leader's wet dream!

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:06 | 4416434 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Fugazi - Steady Diet of Nothing


It's a long time coming,
It's a long way down,
It's long division,
Crack and divide.
This is a parting,
Some separation,
We lay in pieces,
Cracked to survive.
I'm not your villain,
Not your adversary,
I'm not your reason to crack and divide.
It's long division,
Crack and divide

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:21 | 4416492 nmewn
nmewn's picture


I'm not your villain,
Not your adversary,
I'm not your reason to crack and divide.
It's long division,
Crack and divide

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:30 | 4416513 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Derivatives = Long division

VVVV[below] cock will choke swallowing his balls. We won’t accept Chinese liberation or overlords.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:06 | 4416443 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

I, for one, will welcome our new Chinese overlords.


Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:17 | 4416470 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Overlords my ass! A billion peasants plus 300 million pushy midgets with money. Bring it.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:28 | 4416509 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

Haven't you noticed?  Almost everything you buy is made in China.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:34 | 4416520 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

200 years ago the cotton on your back was picked by a slave.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 13:08 | 4417269 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

this is in fact an astute reply. 


being a slave or subject counry producing the goods does not make a country the more powerful country. 


HOWEVER, over time, the power to destroy other countries is obtained most by those countries that PRODUCE. 

200 years ago, the United States was building the engine of productivity that set the stage for the end of the british empire's glory. the british empire still exists but it is nothing really but a shadow of its former self. In another hundred years, the power now retained by the empires holdout oligarchs will be further diluted, and only a few power centers will be left , while the demographic majority of the british isles remains in nothing but shambles. 


IF a country produces and makes the most stuff for consumption---they are building up their human and industrial capital base. not to mention their pile of foreign reserves (which admittedly are mere poker bargaining chips in the long run of history) 


but the idea that china is subjugated to the u.s. simply because she is holding bucketloads of u.s. debt which the u.s. can forcibly debase into confetti---rendering chinese treasury into as impoverished a state as that of the u.s citizenry is false. The chinese treasury buys gold because they know this is the game. and slowly the game is pushed in favor of physical capital -----industries, railroads, universities, gas and oil production , a set of treaties with trading nations that will trade in yuan instead of dollars. ---it is all of these things that comprise physical and social capital that allow for the creation of empires. 

fiat is a symptom of empire and a tool of empire not a cause. the abuse of fiat, is the overusage of a tool of empire, blunting the empires' future power by consuming that power in the present.  


the u.s. is using up its current power hastily. it is VERY conceivable that the world that exists 70 years from now looks very much more like the world that existed 70 years ago. 

a nascent china taking the worlds throne from the u.s. while the u..s replaces, the u.k. in its 2nd' comer status. and the u.k. just regresses back to a completely has been post industrial country like france.  no power to be found amongst its elite, and the underpopulatin fully diluted by immigrants and impoverished, yet hanging onto a thread by government sustenance. 

china would be more than ok with that, so would the u.s. , so would the u.k. , so would the anarchists, and so would the globalists. this kind of predictable shoots and ladders of history would be fine for everyone. because the countreis that produce always get more. the countries that are has beens always regress---and africa still remains a prize for everyeone.



Sun, 02/09/2014 - 17:59 | 4417967 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Japanese were making some of us piss our pants in the 1980's.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 15:09 | 4417529 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

now your sporty trendy smartphone is made by a slave - the ones that don't jump that is.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 10:38 | 4417030 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Blobbing up can not be surrendered.

Signed: AnAnonymous

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:38 | 4417090 snodgrass
snodgrass's picture

If the Chicoms were willing to murder 85 million of their own kind, what do you think they will do with you?

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:10 | 4416444 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 China , emerging markets are under pressue.  Imagine feeding 1.4 billion people that are funded under an undependable system you've got 1.4$ trillion invested in.

   Reading my comment probably makes you feel like an skeleton!

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:18 | 4416471 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Reading your comment makes me glad I had a big dinner!

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:40 | 4416537 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Food coma is setting in, my pillow is calling my name.



Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:48 | 4416555 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I'll defer to Atomizer!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 13:18 | 4417282 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Hawaiian paralysis...

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:33 | 4416484 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

Yeah.  China has offshore petroleum engineers in Cuba learning Spanish so they can drill in the FL straits on the Cuban side.  Now that's really a back yard!!

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:49 | 4416556 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture DARE those Chinese....leave their own shores, cross an entire ocean to another CONTINENT for God's sake, make friends with OTHER countries through checkbook diplomacy.....and then exploit OIL that's not even under their own soil!!   The NERVE of those colonizing SOBs!!

...and don't think what the US did in the middle east is a parallel to what China is doing.  Because at LEAST in the middle east, the money being made goes to people to truly HATE western non-Muslim civilization.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 01:11 | 4416642 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    Let's get your claim straigh1. yOU;RE CLAIM IS IMPOSSIBLE.

 wELLS WEREN'T DRIVEN ! during that time period!

  Saudi ARAMCO/ Had not driven well{heads} during that time frame.

 Tell me I'm wrong?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:41 | 4417094 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

South America was the British empires backyard prior to WWI.

The export lines being cut turned it into the US backyard.

History rhyming again.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:01 | 4416585 Ayr Rand
Ayr Rand's picture

The US is just waiting for the moment to define the new 4000 mile Air Defense Zone, effectively encompassing all of Central America and South America. First, wait until China has invested to develop the mines, etc. There is an order to these things. :)

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 08:59 | 4416963 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Their South China sea claims are pretty ridiculous. It just opens up a US response in the Caribbean, but maybe they want to legitimate their claims that way? Tyrants will do whatever they want. 

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:22 | 4416495 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

My brother in law in Bolivia works with the Chinese satellite which is in orbit providing communications services for the country

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:25 | 4416497 suteibu
suteibu's picture

What happened to the Chinese project to build a new canal through Nicaragua?  Chinese ships in the Gulf of Mexico (kind of like American ships in the South China Sea).

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 04:17 | 4416816 hootowl
hootowl's picture

You put America and China on the same moral plane.  You must have attended a public indoctrination center (public school).

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 05:10 | 4416850 suteibu
suteibu's picture

American government moral?  Do you even read the content of this site?

Besides, what does morality have to do with the subject of the article?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 09:03 | 4416966 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

That plane crashed years ago. US, morals? China, morals? Tyrants don't have morals, just slave populations. Get back to work.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:37 | 4417088 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

Four proposed routes. All ecological nightmares. When I was there the people did not trust the idea or the Chinese. Plenty of Chinese and Japanese built roads though.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:38 | 4416530 whoknoz
whoknoz's picture

The huaghty John Kerry has already declared the Monroe Doctrine passe...or pissed on, in the American vernacular...

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:04 | 4416594 Ayr Rand
Ayr Rand's picture

Kerry proved his cowardice and lack of integrity (in deed and in word) in Viet Nam and consistently ever since. The Monroe Doctrine is only passe until a US administration that is not at war with the US gains power. 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:28 | 4416640 Jadr
Jadr's picture

Can you please explain how allowing the Chinese to invest in South American countries and trade with them violates the Monroe Doctrine?  The Monroe Doctrine was to stop the colonization and rule of those countries by outside influences, not dictate who they can do business with.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 01:45 | 4416752 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I think you are seeign confused american exceptionalism at work. No one's fault, entire generations were brought to believe the lie.

It's all the shit they put in your head since kindergarden.

incidentally Kindergarden is a German word. Most/all US kids (actually world over) go to kindergarden.

Ponder the implications and then roll that and shove it up a doctrine's arse.

Kinder = Kid = Goat's child.

Baphomet's babies Abound!



Sun, 02/09/2014 - 17:50 | 4417900 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

You used to have some posts that made a little sense.  What's happened to you Indian?

Kinder does not mean 'kid' or baby goat.  The Kinder goat is a breed of goat started in 1986.  The name Kinder is the breeds name and does not refer to the goats offspring.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 04:16 | 4416814 hootowl
hootowl's picture

You can't reason with stupidity.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 14:20 | 4417407 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

economic colonialism = colonialism

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 02:48 | 4416785 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

In new American vernacular "Fuck the Monroe Doctrine"

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:39 | 4416538 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

One word: LENOVO

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:55 | 4416575 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture


Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:40 | 4416540 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

Hopefully Obama chokes on one of the dicks he sucks on constantly

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:48 | 4416559 q99x2
q99x2's picture

It takes a village.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 23:51 | 4416565 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

I don't know about China, but I went to the mall today and I was outnumbered by 12:1 by Indians, Pakis and Mesicans.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:15 | 4416620 secured_party-c...
secured_party-creditor's picture

You must live in Michigan and went to the mall in Auburn

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:43 | 4417100 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

I can only dream of living in a neighborhood with such a low ratio. If I go out side the air smells of a battle between chili powder and beans vs curry and some shit I can't identify (but it smells like burning feces).
On the up side, I am finally getting to use those twelve words I learned in HS spanish class.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:19 | 4416625 rustymason
rustymason's picture


Sun, 02/09/2014 - 00:26 | 4416637 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

                           You,ve got a choice.

       Never quit ! Never give up!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 01:46 | 4416754 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

We signed a Treaty in 1848
and that was the last time the US really "took" something.
I mean Cuba? the Phillipines?
World War I we tried to create a "League of Nations."
(Yes, Europe laughed.)
World War II...we simply took over the place.
Yes...NATO is a Treaty...but in fact it's organization...purely voluntary (yes, France dropped out for a while and built nuclear weapons capable of hitting Germany in case of a Russian invasion either real or perceived) that is "operational" in nature.

I simply see nothing in the historical evidence that the USA is anything like France, Great Britain, Germany or Russia.
The fact that that what might be considered a meager attempt in the Middle East has bankrupted the country just goes to show who wears the pants in this "family."

So sure...China has designs on South America.
Who wouldn't?
But we're cutting defense spending 100 billion a year and tapering as well.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of "Afghanistan."
There have been guys there since day one...and they will be there probably long after "Day Zero" arrives.

If there is a build out of huge fleet then yes...I would consider that imperialistic.
In other words "refurbish 6 mothballed Nimitz Class carriers and add them to the future 12 Gerald R Ford"...that would be 18 fleets.

We continue to have an Army of Unemployed and not only does this create a surprising high level of expertise in the military as a whole...but it can lead to "big ideas."

"All done to keep ten thousand US Soldiers present in Afghanistan."
This is easily the most ambitious logistical operation ever undertaken in US Military history...when taking into account the time involved so far.

Even in Vietnam the beans and bullets got delivered.
And so it has been done this time around as well.
Just ask the Russians: "you don't just do that."

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 01:48 | 4416755 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Wasn't this dumb chick author pissing on the honor of the Confederacy a few days ago in her stupid Nazi Asia article?


The South was RIGHT!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 03:09 | 4416796 Nexus789
Nexus789's picture

Out manoeuvred totally - while the US pointlessly moves military assets the Chinese tactically reposition to build new commercial relationships.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 05:38 | 4416868 smacker
smacker's picture

The gathering closeness between China and Latin America - most notably Brazil - is not just being pushed by China. The Latinos themselves also want it.

It fits nicely into their own plan of creating an alternative political/economic/social bloc that excludes the developed western countries who - as they see it - lay down the rules and MO of trade etc. And of course they have never forgiven the USG's long period of quasi-colonial power in their countries since the end of WWII which brought to power the military dictatorships, funded by the CIA.

You won't here it said in public by Brazilian politicos but they appear to do things any way that suits them just so long as it's not the way the US and EU do it. It's their way of demonstrating independence against western hegemony.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 09:04 | 4416967 kwatinhu
kwatinhu's picture

Hey, let the Campesino's snuggle up with the Chicoms. We all know how warm and caring they really are. Almost as much as us El Norte good guys up here, eh.

It's all self interest as it should be in a capitalist world order, which is the only one that works.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 09:03 | 4416969 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

The pivot to Asia is just like Obama's lesser fuckus on jobs. All hat, no cattle. Please, let us get rid of that asshole and Kerry before we have another world war.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 10:44 | 4417038 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

If we do wind up in WWIII, it might actually behoove us to revolt so that we can put a stop to that shit before we get nuked. 



To the NSA:  Getting nuked is bad for national security.  Very, very bad. 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 11:11 | 4417057 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


Floating Pig brand burritos coming soon to a mercado near you.

Try our new melamine flavor.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 12:45 | 4417221 whidbey-2
whidbey-2's picture

Difficult to see your point........  China and South America have their emergence nation status in common. They are trade partners vital to each other economically. The South American states likely fear development and "social success" such as the EU and the US reveal. They see the US is a post modern state with all of the lack of direction and loss of energy befitting a drifting society served by a government, which is for all practical purposes invisible, lead by a head of state who hates the society and government he serves.  Who would would seek to associate with a society apparently bent going no where? This lemma in the life of the US as a fat, self satisfied, society is just a shadow of the future that will be termed the "The Hole in History".  Reread the Decline and Fall for further insight on what is going wrong today.

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 12:49 | 4417234 Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

Just wait till China starts claiming the Falklands as theirs ...

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 13:24 | 4417299 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Hard to "enforce" the Monroe Doctrine when you have to borrow money from the transgressor and are worried that same might dump your debt and reveal how bankrupt you really are. LOL


Additional note: The sociopaths of the DC US cannot even just repudiate the debt, as the manufacturing base has been hollowed out. Inventory at Walmart would dry up and the sheeple would finally march on DC US with semi-auto "pitchforks" and guillotines.


"The question is often put, 'Will they fire on the American people?' But Waco demonstrates that they will and have."

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 15:12 | 4417532 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

i get it!!! canada is our FRONT YARD!

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 19:56 | 4418317 MEAN BUSINESS

Correct, and once things warm up, it will need mowing.

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