“You left some space and the other guy moved in,” a Latin American diplomat told McClatchy, speaking anonymously so he could more freely discuss the relationship with the United States and China. “The region will work first with the people who bring the money.”The Chinese have been constructing roads, designing new embassies and building technology infrastructures from Argentina to Mexico. It has expanded its interests of Latin American oil, copper and iron and now wants to become a more equal trade and diplomatic partner.
Xi is ready to embrace Latin America as the Trump administration, carrying out its “America First” agenda, has pulled away from multilateral trade policies such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.But after months, if not years, of withdrawal, the United States is now turning up the pressure and pushing Latin American leaders to choose between the United States and China.
“Do you want to work with us or them,” said Michael Shifter, who as president of the Inter-American Dialogue has deep ties with many leaders across Latin America. “ ‘We’re your preferred partner,’ they like to say.”The diplomats are blunt. They would rather work with the United States, with whom they have a more established relationship and who has helped the region for decades on multitude of priorities, including the current Venezuela migration crisis as well as national security and counter narcotics.
Source: Miami Herald