Sunday, April 12, 2015

China on U.S.-Latin American Relations

Here's a funny editorial at Xinhua News Agency, which is the state agency of the Chinese government. It makes two points:

First, it criticizes the U.S. for pursuing its own interests in Latin America, basically saying U.S. policy is based largely on protecting itself. That's hard to argue, since no one has ever suggested otherwise. But the critical tone is odd because of course this is also precisely what China is doing in Latin America. Does anyone think the Chinese government is selflessly buying up commodities and loaning money for the good of Latin America?

Second, the solution it suggests for U.S. policy makes no sense.

Starting from the 1st summit, U.S.-Latin American ties have grown increasingly complicated, as the United States imposes one after another unpopular policies despite resistance from Latin American countries.

If the United States is a true believer of "Prosperity with Equity," the theme of this year's summit, the FTAA would have already taken shape, benefiting member states, and the summit would serve as a friendly forum, rather than an arena for Uncle Sam to exert authority.

In other words, the U.S. imposes unpopular solutions so the answer is to impose an unpopular solution! The FTAA, of course, was declared dead by Hugo Chávez a decade ago because the idea was so unpopular. Perhaps Xinhua editorial writers were just asked to pump out some anti-U.S. narratives for the Summit of the Americas, and some of them don't know much about the topic.


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