The Dragon's Trumpoline
If Donald Trump is the bad guy who calls for protectionism, China is the one who calls for free trade. A week after Trumps’ victory, the president of China, Xi Jinping, set off for Latin America in search of trade deals and improve China’s image in the US backyard. Last week, Xi travelled to Ecuador, Peru and Chile to look for trade agreements (basically, China imports from Lat Am raw materials like copper, iron and soybeans, in exchange for cheap manufactures) and to find new markets for its infrastructure companies. China also wants good relations with Lat Am in order to diversify its sources of energy.
China’s aims in the region are expansive. In 2015 it signed a slew of agreements with Latin American countries promising to double bilateral trade to $500bn within ten years and to increase the total stock of investment between them from $85bn-100bn to $250bn. As reported last week in The Economist.