, Volume 91, Number 5

Lei Yu
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.

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