China's growing interest in Latin America

The Asian giant has increased diplomacy and investment in Latin America, with an eye on its natural resources and developing markets for manufactured goods and even arms.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao begins a Latin America tour on Monday, taking in Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru, as China tightens economic ties and the region hopes for help in tougher times.

Hu's visit to Costa Rica is the highest-level visit by a Chinese official to the first Central American country to break off Taiwan ties in favor of China, in June last year.
Taiwan is now left with only a small circle of 23 international supporters, most of them tiny, poor nations, while Beijing commands the support of 171 nations.
"It's more than just symbolic that Hu Jintao has decided to come, because it is clearly making the point that it is no longer a Taiwanese stronghold," said Costa Rican analyst Luis Guillermo Solis.
Both Taiwan and China have been accused of using so-called "dollar diplomacy" to get nations to ally with them.

But China's economic might is hard to compete with, especially in tough economic times.
Part of China's incentives to Costa Rica came from China's enormous foreign exchange reserves with an offer to buy 300 million dollars in bonds.

Many wonder if Costa Rica's neighbors will be tempted to follow its move.

More on this topic

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VI China - LA and the Caribbean (LAC) Business Summit

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What Do Costa Rica Businessmen Want

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UCCAEP, the Union of Costa Rican Private Enterprise Chambers and Associations, submitted president-elect Laura Chinchilla a list of 10 things they consider crucial for the country to move forward:

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