China has over the last two decades been committed to creating a strategic partnership
with Latin American states by persistently extending its economic and political
involvement in the continent. China’s efforts in this regard reflect not only its
desire to intensify its economic cooperation and political relations with nations in
Latin America, but also its strategic goals of creating its own sphere of influence
in the region and enhancing its ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power in order to elevate China’s
status at the systemic level. With access to Latin American markets, resources and
investment destinations, China may sustain its economic and social progress that
bases its long cherished dream of restoring its past glory of fuqiang (wealth and
power) and rise as a global power capable of reshaping the current world system.
The enormous economic benefits deriving from their economic cooperation and
trade may persuade Latin American nations to accept the basic premise of China’s
economic strategy: that China’s rise is not a threat, but an opportunity to gain
wealth and prosperity. This will help China gain more ‘soft’ power in and leverage
over its economic partners in Latin America, and thereby help it to rise in the
global power hierarchy.