Edited by Carla P. Freeman
It is difficult to imagine that China’s active engagement with Latin America dates only to the start of the twenty-first century. In the decade-and-a-half since China adopted a ‘going global’ strategy to promote Chinese overseas investment, expand export markets, and gain much needed access to natural resources abroad, Sino–Latin American relations have both deepened and broadened at an unexpectedly rapid pace. The main driver behind this sea change in bilateral relations has been economic complementarity, with resource-rich countries in Latin America exporting primary goods to the Asian giant’s growing market and China exporting manufactured goods to the region. During Hu Jintao’s presidency (2003–2013), Sino–Latin American relations matured considerably, becoming far more nuanced and multifaceted than ever before. Today, as China and Latin America face new pressures to reassess their economic strategies in an increasingly complex global landscape, so too must they carefully evaluate their bilateral interactions and the direction they wish to follow in the years ahead.
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