Sino-Latin American Economic Relations

By He Li | Go to book overview

to gain a foothold on the Latin American continent which had been closed to her until 1970, having until then been a sphere of influence to the Soviet Union and its satellites. China therefore thought it worth her while to make a generous gesture which would compare favorably with the Soviet Union's very sober terms.42

In spite of Beijing's ambition, China lacked the necessary funding for carrying out similar aid programs. Its isolation from the area and lack of knowledge and expertise placed it in a disadvantageous position relative to the U.S. and Soviet diplomacy of aid.


SUMMARY

Growth of Sino-Latin American relations during this period was a general phenomenon related to shifts in international power alignments. Sharpening of conflicts between China and the Soviet Union was an important factor. The United States adopted a policy of rapprochement with China after Nixon's visit to Beijing. A conjunction of forces both inside and outside Latin America and the PRC facilitated a closer relationship. The most important motivation behind the increase in economic relations between China and Latin America was political. The principal objective of China's policy toward Latin America was to gain diplomatic recognition from Latin America and Beijing partly achieved its goal. In the 1970s, Chinese circles of contacts with Latin American states widened. Between 1970 and 1977, Latin American nations formally recognizing Taiwan dropped form twenty to twelve, whereas the number recognizing the PRC went from one to twelve. In addition, although Sino-Latin American trade relations in the 1960s were dominated by Beijing-Havana links, the 1970s witnessed increasing geographical diversification.

On the whole, changes in political setting had a profound bearing on the development of trade relations between the two regions. However, as subsequent chapters reveal trade relations were based not on political factors alone but also on the complementary features of both economies. In brief, in many ways this period was a transitional phase in which Latin American-Chinese relations moved from a rather low to a more significant level. The nature and extent of increased economic relations in the two regions after 1978 is the subject of the next chapter.


NOTES
1
The ultimate meaning of the Sino-Soviet rift became clear after 1968, when Chinese foreign policy seemed to be guided primarily by opposition to the Soviet Union. The Chinese invariably supported Third World movements and governments that opposed the Soviet Union, even if they were repressive dictatorships.

-49-

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Sino-Latin American Economic Relations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Early Development of Sino-Latin American Economic Relations: 1949-1958 10
  • Notes 17
  • 3 - The Years after the Cuban Revolution: 1959-1969 20
  • Notes 32
  • 4 - The Period of Normalization of Relations: 1970-1977 34
  • Notes 49
  • 5 - China's Open-Door Policy and Trade with Latin America: 1978-1990 53
  • Notes 74
  • Notes 87
  • 7 - Technology Transfer 89
  • Notes 95
  • 8 - Problems and Issues in Current Economic Relations 97
  • Notes 109
  • 9 - Prospects for Future Economic Relations 111
  • Notes 127
  • 10 - Summary and Conclusions 130
  • Notes 146
  • Appendix A: Trade Treaties and Agreements between China and Latin America, 1949-1990 151
  • Appendix B: Major Sino-Latin American Joint Ventures in Latin America 159
  • Selected Bibliography 161
  • Index 171
  • About the Author 179
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