China's security cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Implications for Europe - Multinational Development Policy Dialogue Brussels
The expert exchange was focused on Daniel Agramont's study China’s security and military cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Implications for Europe (1). In this study, he categorizes the countries of Latin America (LAC) into three groups. The first group wants to have close ties with China and which seek to strengthen the cooperation further, even if it would mean deteriorating ties with the West, the second group engages both with the United States and China, and finally those which recognize Taiwan and therefore cannot build up meaningful relations with China. These relationships are predominantly fueled by China's interest in business relations and access to the region's resources. In addition, LAC increasingly also functions as a destination market for Chinese goods. China-LAC relations do not only focus on trade, investments and technology transfers but also increasingly feature infrastructure investment and construction, as well as arms sales and cooperation with the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Further, China delivers humanitarian aid, and provides access to surveillance and radar infrastructure.
Following the overview of the study's content, the participants engaged in a debate, covering China's pragmatic approach to establishing new relations with the Latin American governments, the EU´s steady withdrawal from the region, and it's need to reengage with its partners. It was established that the European Union needs to reassess its relations with Latin America and find ways of actively engaging with the countries in a pragmatic way in order to create sustainable partnerships based on democratic principles.
In his closing remarks, the host of the expert exchange, MEP Javier Zarzalejos, highlighted the value of this event to ascertain the deficiencies of the EU's current approach towards Latin America, the rising influence of China in the region, and the necessary steps for the EU to reengage win the region. MEP Zarzalejos stressed that the European Union is currently passing through a “period of awakening” (2) in which it should have no delusions about the Chinese agenda and be even more ambitious about its relations to Latin America and the Caribbean.
1 Daniel Agramont Lechín, ‘China’s Security and Military Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Implications for Europe’, 29 April 2022 - https://bit.ly/3yGl0E1.
2 ‘La cooperación en materia de seguridad de China en América Latina y el Caribe’, Faes (blog), 11 May 2022 - https://bit.ly/3yK7oYl.
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