Monday, April 17, 2006

China in Latin America

Chinese Influence in Brazil Worries U.S.
By Humphrey Hawksley
BBC Newsnight, Sao Paulo
April 3, 2006

Earlier this month, assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon was dispatched to Beijing to inquire about China's growing influence in Latin America on everything from oil and gas, to defense projects. America has been "protective" of Latin America since 1823, when President James Monroe "decreed that no foreign power would have more influence there than the U.S. itself."

Of great concern are the recent elections in Latin America that have produced a number of leftist countries that are extremely critical of U.S. policy.

"We're concerned about the leftist countries that are dealing with China," says Congressman Dan Burton (R) Chairman of Sub-Committee on the Western Hemisphere, "It's extremely important that we don't let a potential enemy of the U.S. become a dominant force in this part of the world."

China-Brazil business began less than two years ago after a series of meetings between Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Chinese President Hu Jintao. Since then, there has been a heavy influence of Chinese culture in Brazil, including the Mandarin language and other Chinese cultural habits. China asserts that it has much to teach Brazil regarding building economic development and decreasing poverty.

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