The Political Economy of China's Contemporary Latin American Relations

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard
Publication Date: 
December 1st, 2016

There is a relative dearth of research on China–Latin America political economic relations, especially where Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) is concerned. In my introductory article, I aim to enrich our knowledge about how external and internal political and economic factors interact to shape Sino–Latin American links. I offer background information on Chinese investment in Latin America, identify several analytical questions that have arisen in conjunction with COFDI in Latin America, and specify some of the key findings of the other articles in this special issue. The contributors indicate that COFDI and other Sino–Latin American economic ties may not be dramatically reshaping host country foreign policies toward China, that positive political relations are not sufficient to ensure smooth economic relations or growing COFDI, and that the activities of Chinese firms in Latin America may be shaped by the host country’s institutional environment and their own operational interests rather than by any dictates from Beijing. This piece appeared as Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, "The Political Economy of China's Contemporary Latin American Relations: Issues, Findings, and Prospects," Asian Perspective, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October-December 2016), pp. 553-578.