We have an opportunity to observe how the development of relations between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries is starting to annoy Washington. The Americans are using any excuse to publicly condemn Beijing for its regional policy.
American officials are intensifying their rhetoric against China and its relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries. For example, while announcing Secretary Blinken's trip to Panama a representative of the White House has made ironic comments about China-Panama relations, which had received a positive boost after visit of Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes. Moreover, on hearings of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations American officials have criticized China in every possible way for "undermining interests of the countries of the region". China was accused of disinformation and aggressive promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and its telecom technologies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China protested such groundless accusations. They asked the United States to abandon the cold war mentality and the Monroe Doctrine and to stop exerting pressure on Latin American and Caribbean countries, forcing them to choose sides. It seems like the Americans won't even consider such possibility and will further exert their pressure to deter the Chinese influence. Many experts notice that such measures fit into Washington's overall policy against Beijing. American officials ignore natural aspiration of emerging countries to strengthen their economies and improve the quality of life of their citizens, and openly call Latin countries to wrap their cooperation with China.
At the same time the Americans themselves prefer to ignore the difficult economic situation in the region, which is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unstable geopolitical situation. Moreover, draconian measures of the Federal Reserve System to tighten monetary policy negatively affect economies of emerging countries and result in the interest rate increase and slowing down the recovery after COVID-19. As it stands, all attempts of the United States to push China out of the region are immoral and egoistic. But at the same time, it is absolutely typical of the US.
It is worth to be mentioned that in spite of the US irritation the Chinese aid to Latin American and Caribbean countries especially in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic fight pays its political and economic dividends. In 2021, the volume of trade with the region exceeded $450bln (+41,1%), that was the new record.
Chinese relations with the heavyweights of the region have been noticeably strengthened. After the President of Argentina Fernandez visited China on February, 2022, local newspapers have widely spread his call to get rid of economic dependence from the US and Bretton Woods institutions.
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative was a significant step towards strengthening cooperation between China and Argentina. According to forecasts it will bring more than $2bln of the Chinese investments into the Argentinian economy. Moreover, the two sides also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in industrial production, agriculture, high tech and green energy.
Cooperation with China has a positive effect of the Argentinian economy. In 2021, the volume of bilateral trade reached $138,1bln (+30,9%). China is the main exporter of machinery, organic chemicals, steel and fertilizers. The main products that Argentina exports to China are minerals, cotton, meat and wood. Economists believe that amid global energy transformations and technological revolution relations between China and Argentina have a strong potential in agriculture, infrastructure, digital technologies and development of low-carbon economy.
Given these premises, it can be noted that in spite of Washington's policy against Beijing in Latin America, China does not give up its intentions to expand cooperation with the region. The US is outraged, but China continues to pursue its interests.