ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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China's Involvement in Latin America

Lessons for India

China's relations with Latin America and the Caribbean have grown enormously in recent years, built on the back of carefully implemented policies. Extensive funding, technical and strategic assistance to friendly regimes guarantees China staunch political support in a region that has begun to assert its independence from the United States. India lags in its approach to the region; it needs a vision and a strategy for LAC it does not have.

China’s recorded links to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) can be traced back to the 16th century. The “silk road of the sea” saw 20 to 60 ships sail between China’s coastal regions and Mexico’s Acapulco every year, exchanging silk, cotton, jewellery and gunpowder for shoes, olive oil and wine (Romero 2010).

Chinese labour flowed in the 19th century to Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua and Panama. By 1920, 26,000 Chinese comprised the largest immigrant group in Mexico, second only to natives of Spain (McAnarney 2012). Significant Chinese communities exist in Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua and Panama.

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