Chinese Investment Strategy Across Latin America

Thursday, May 6, 2021
2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Virtual Seminar

  • Carter Clelland

THIS EVENT STARTS AT 2:40PM. Introductions will start at 2:40pm. Each presentation will be 20 minutes with a 10 minute discussion.


* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


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About the Event: Why do certain Latin American countries receive substantially more Chinese investment than others? Various reports, books, and statements from officials argue that Chinese investments, notably ones from its Belt and Road Initiative, seek to augment Chinese global influence through corruption, political influence, and debt diplomacy. Since 2005, the People’s Republic of China has increased its interest in Latin America, as evidenced by its upward trend of investment with the region now receiving nearly 10% of total Chinese investment, or $200bn. Using the American Enterprise Institute’s China Global Investment Tracker, this thesis aims to identify some potential factors for the distribution of Chinese investment across different Latin American nations and test the veracity of such claims, and explain why Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela receive such high levels of investment compared to regional peers like Colombia and Mexico. The data suggests that Latin American corruption is not an influential factor in Chinese investment destinations, but rather the primary motive is more likely the potential for commodity exports like soybeans, petroleum, and copper. As China raises its economic influence in Latin America, Beijing will likely obtain greater political and diplomatic influence. The United States government must understand Beijing’s intentions in the region and compete accordingly rather than maligning the PRC’s actions in Latin America without providing a competitive alternative.


About the Speaker: Carter is a senior studying International Relations with specializations in international security and East and South Asia, as well as German studies. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, he extended his affinity for Latin America into his thesis by writing about Chinese investments across various Latin American states. After graduation, he will be moving to Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC for a Masters in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.