After a series of agreements with Latin American leaders, the Chinese communist regime deepened its ties in the continent with promises of “cheap credits”, nuclear technology, construction of 5G and communications networks. The regime has managed to strategically seduce local authorities, endangering sovereign freedoms and threatening U.S. leadership.
The Chinese regime signed agreements with Latin American and Caribbean leaders to deepen ties in almost all areas of society. According to a recent report in the Daily Mail, as part of the negotiations, China has even pledged to build schools and fund classes that teach the language and “culture” of the eastern country.
The entire region has been influenced by the Chinese regime after years of heavy investment in critical infrastructure such as ports, roads and power plants in what analysts see as an attempt to buy power and influence in the U.S. “backyard”.
Mateo Haydar, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner on the basis of the latest agreements signed:
“The challenge is comprehensive, and there’s absolutely a security and military interest there. That threat is growing, and it’s a different kind of threat than what we saw with the Soviets”
On the other hand, Evan Ellis, a former State Department policy planning staff member, said, “The Chinese don’t say, ‘We want to take over Latin America,’ but they clearly set out a multidimensional engagement strategy, which, if successful, would significantly expand their leverage and produce enormous intelligence concerns for the United States.”
One of the agreements, officially called the “Joint Action Plan for Cooperation in Key Areas,” was signed in December 2021 between China and CELAC, an alliance of Latin American and Caribbean states that encompasses nearly every country in the region, including major players such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay and Chile.
As is often the case with such agreements, details are sparse but a broad roadmap is set out, stipulating commitments to deepen ties between governments, banks, companies and educational institutions,.
Most of the commitments seem routine, such as pledges to preserve the environment, develop green technology, and promote equality and sustainability, but among the extensive lightweight guidelines are a few points that set alarm bells ringing at the Pentagon.
One is a commitment to exchange nuclear technology and promote “relevant practical projects,” including the training of nuclear scientists to “bring into play the advantages offered by nuclear technology and energy.”
While the agreement specifies that this will be for “peaceful” purposes, it raised some concern that the technology used to enrich nuclear fuel can be reused to make material suitable for weapons of mass destruction.
Another sticking point is China’s promise to help develop space programs for the “peaceful exploration of space”. This also raised concerns considering that in the past, Beijing has tried to pass off the launching of spy satellites as supposed “communication” spacecraft, and recently rejected accusations that it had tested a hypersonic orbital nuclear bomb saying it was actually a civilian spacecraft intended for “peaceful space exploration.”
The agreement also promises greater cooperation in “digital infrastructure, telecommunications equipment and 5G.” The United States has developed a fierce dispute with the Chinese regime for years over the deployment of 5G technology, ever since it became known that Beijing was advancing in the race to build the new information networks around the world, while being accused of implementing information theft and espionage work using this technology.
At the same time, the communist dictatorships of Cuba and China have just signed a new cooperation plan to deepen their trade relationship around the controversial “Belt and Road” (BRI) initiative, through which many countries around the world have generated enormous dependence and indebtedness to the Chinese regime.
Many countries that signed the BRI, especially those most in need due to their structural poverty, have had to renounce their sovereign principles after being unable to pay the huge debts acquired with the communist regime.
Concern about Chinese interference in Latin America is growing, yet few leaders are acting on it, while dependence continues to grow as the region becomes poorer and political and social instability increases.