China and Latin America must confront the legacy of past deals gone wrong and attempt to move beyond commodity-based trade, investment and financing ties to forge more infrastructure cooperation.
Concerns about China’s mercantilist trade and investment policies have been at the forefront of growing frictions between China, the EU and the United States, but the Belt and Road Initiative has also highlighted worries about the lending of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects by its “policy banks”.
Since its announcement in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has grown from an idea centered on connectivity and infrastructure development into a global strategy bolstering China’s influence and economic diplomacy.
The rise of populism in Europe and United States has had a pronounced impact on domestic politics and foreign policy, as seen in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
Since its unveiling in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has developed into a sweeping global project with profound implications for the international financial system, China’s own growth model, and governance in China and in countries along the Belt.
Amid the escalating Sino-U.S. trade friction, Xi’s speech can be seen as creating a mediating space for potential negotiation between Beijing and Washington in order to prevent the global economy from suffering another big blow.
China and its keenest Latin American borrowers are left with the challenge of managing the legacy of past deals, including those that have gone awry.
How will new developments influence relations between Russia, China, and the United States?
How are European nations balancing the opportunities and consequences of increased Chinese investment and influence in the region?
How will the shifting dynamics in Europe impact China’s future engagement with the region as well as inter-European relations and the international system more broadly?