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A powerful Germany, both militarily and economically, has not always boded well for the continent of Europe. As of today, Germany has the largest European economy in terms of GDP, it has the largest population, and it is a central player within the European Union. Should Germany’s neighbors hold a favorable view of German influence, despite its success? This paper will test the explanatory power of two International Relations theories in regards to German popularity within three other states: Great Britain, France, and Spain. The two theories are Offensive Structural Realism, which predicts that Germany’s neighbors should not view German influence as favorable, and Institutionalism, which predicts that institutions like the EU do allow German neighbors to view German influence as favorable. Each theory will have testable independent variables which act on the dependent variable, which is each state’s view of German influence. The dependent variable will be verified by a survey conducted by Globescan/BBC/PIPA, which measures the percentage of respondents within Germany, Great Britain, France, and Spain who had a favorable view of German influence in the years of 2008-2014. This paper concludes by showing that Offensive Structural Realism’s predictions do not hold in Germany today; but rather, the Institutionalist’s predictions do hold. Because of institutional rules and economic interdependence, German neighbors generally have a favorable view of German influence, despite Germany’s economic power.
Table of Contents
Popular or not so Popular? Offensive Structural Realist and Institutionalist Predictions of German Neighbors in Regards to German Power.
In 2017, Germany has the largest economy in all of Europe. In fact, it has the world’s fourth largest economy. Yet, if one is familiar with recent European history, a powerful Germany has not always brought warm tidings to its European neighbors. Indeed, whether it be 1869 or 1935, it cannot be said that the French were necessarily happy with their neighbor’s good economic fortunes. Since Angela Merkel ascended to the German Chancellery 2005, Germany has not only improved its economy, but has done so while successfully weathering the EU financial crisis that erupted in 2009. Other European states have been slow to recover from the crisis, but Germany has continued to grow economically and increase its influence over the European Union. So what does all of this mean for Germany’s European neighbors? Are they happy with how well Germany is doing, or are they nervous about German growth?
This paper seeks to answer that question. Of course, this paper cannot give a conclusive answer, but there are testable theories in international relations that can help the reader make sense of the responses to German power. This paper will test the predictions of two theories in international relations: Offensive Structural Realism and Institutionalism. By examining recent years of Germany and the public opinion its neighbors have of it, we can better understand which theory helps explain the status quo, and which theory would help best make predictions of attitudes towards German power. This paper will first outline a brief summary of what each theory predicts about a rising power, including which independent variables are needed to test each theory and what dependent variable should be produced. Then, each independent variable within each theory will be tested with data from recent German history, along with three European states’ public opinion of Germany. With the independent variable tests within each theory, this paper will determine whether or not the predictions of the theories were valid. After examining both theories, this paper will conclude with my argument: Offensive Structural Realism’s predictions do not hold in Germany today; but rather, the Institutionalist’s predictions do hold. Because of institutional rules and economic interdependence, German neighbors generally show no signs of fearing Germany because of its economic power.
To examine a rising power in Offensive Structural Realism, a quick overview of its assumptions is needed. In his book The Struggle of Great Power Politics, John Mearsheimer lays out the five critical assumptions that govern how states interact with each other in the international system. (1) The international system is anarchic. If there is a struggle between two states, there is no international power to help resolve the argument. This consequently leads into the second assumption: (2) states will inherently regard each other with suspicion because there is no hierarchical power to protect them from being harmed by another state. This, in turn, causes the third assumption: (3) survival is the primary goal of the state. (4) All states are rational actors. This assumption rules out any explanations of irrational or crazy behavior when observing state interaction. The last assumption is critical. (5) It states that “great powers inherently possess some offensive military capability” (Mearsheimer 2001, 30). This means that states will always have some capability to attack another and perpetuate any insecurity in the international system.
Now that a quick overview of the theory and its assumptions has been given, let’s examine what a rising power looks like and the predictions of state responses. First, Germany is a rising power today partly because it exists in a multi-polar system. This does not mean that all states on the European continent are equal in terms of power, but power in a multi-polar system is more spread among the European states. Offensive Structural Realists regard a multi-polar system as especially dangerous. Because a state’s primary goal is survival, it should be fearful of another state gaining power relative to other states in the region. Why? Offensive Structural Realism predicts that a state who gains relative power “is likely to behave more aggressively, because it has the capability as well as the incentive to do so” (Mearsheimer 2001, 37). This is because all states want to because a regional hegemonic power. This is when a state is most secure because it can control all other states around it. Consequently, they can be sure no one will harm them.
For Offensive Structural Realists, a rising power can rise in two ways. There is hard military power, which produces the most fear. Think of Germany rearming before the Second World War. An Offensive Structural Realist would say that if Germany today was building a large military and Great Britain and France were not, then German neighbors should be scared. The balance of power would be shifting to Germany and away from other states.
Yet, for the purposes of this paper, the more relevant type of power is what Mearsheimer calls latent power. He writes that latent power “is based on the size of [a state’s] population and the level of its wealth” (Mearsheimer 2001, 43). As we will see later, an Institutionalist would just call this economic power, but Mearsheimer refers to it as latent because of its potential conversion into hard power. If a state has a large population and much economic prowess, it can quickly turn that population into soldiers and the economic strength into a component of military strength. Thus, in a multipolar system, an Offensive Structural Realist would predict that when one state is gaining more latent power, its neighboring states should become more fearful.
In order to test Offensive Structural Realism in this paper, this paper will use the following independent variables for Germany, Great Britain, France, and Spain: size of military, population, and the share of wealth within the EU. Only the size of the military is a hard power indicator. The rest are latent power indicators. The dependent variable is Great Britain’s, France’s, and Spain’s public opinion of Germany. Data for the independent variables will come from the years 2008-2014. The data will be cross-referenced to the other states’ public opinion of Germany. If Germany has shown an increase in military size, has a significantly larger population, or holds more wealth than its neighbors, then Offensive Structural Realism would predict that those neighbors should be fearful of Germany. Below is a table with each variable and prediction.
|Independent Variable||Dependent Variable||Predicted Outcome|
|Size of Military Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear|
|Population Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear|
|Share of Wealth Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear|
This section will provide an overview of what a rising power looks like in Institutionalism and what the predictions of state responses are. First, it must be noted that Institutionalists are similar to Offensive Structural Realists in their assumptions of how states interact with one another (Keohane 1984, x). Both theories have four of the same assumptions. However, Institutionalists do not assume that all states have some offensive capability. They do assume that (1) the international system is anarchic, (2) that states will inherently regard each other with suspicion, (3) survival is the primary goal of the state, and finally (4) that all states are rational actors. Factors like hard and economic, which is latent for Offensive Structural Realists, power are important for Institutionalists. Yet, when looking at a rising power, they believe that international regimes can help decrease the fear in the international system that would result because of a rising power. Polarity is also not a big concern. What is important is the type of regimes that the states in Europe are a part of. In other words, are the states within the region apart of regimes that, as Douglass North defines them, place “constraints that structure political, economic, and social interaction” in which the states can monitor each other, work with each other, and not forgo their own interests (North 1991, 97) (Keohane 1982, 338)?
Thus, if a state is gaining much hard or economic power, an institutionalist would first look at the institutions the state and its neighbor are a part of. If a rising power is a part of an institution, the main predictions an Institutionalist would make about such a rising power are (1) a strong and rooted regime coupled with a high degree of interdependence between states should discourage any rising power from maliciously deviating from established rules and norms, and (2) institutionalists do not fear a rising power just because it is rising; rather, they only fear it when it begins to violate established principles, rules, and norms for its own benefit. Regimes have what Axelrod and Keohane call “the shadow of the future” (Axelrod and Keohane 1985, 227). This means that strong regimes, which this paper will assume are like the EU, will damage the reputation of a state if it violates the rules at the expense of other states. Further, when a state is heavily economically interdependent with other states in an institution, it is not in their interest to deviate. Thus, the main conclusion of Institutionalism for a rising Germany in the context of this paper would be this: despite Germany gaining power economically, as long as Germany, or any rising power, is keeping with the established principles, rules, and norms of the regimes it shares with its neighbors and is economically interdependent with them, there will not be fear.
This paper will use the EU as an institution to help test two independent variables. The first independent variable will see if Germany is compliant with two specific EU monetary rules: keeping its deficit to 3% of GDP and keeping its debt as 60% of GDP (How Economic and Monetary Unions Work). The next independent variable is how economically interdependent Germany is with its neighbors. This will be measured by data from the percentage of the exports Germany sends and the imports it receives from Great Britain, France, and Spain. Both variables will be cross-referenced with public opinions of Germany. Again, Institutionalism predicts that if Germany is following the rules of the EU, and if it is economically interdependent, then despite its economic status, other states should not fear it. Below is a table below representing the independent and dependent variables along with this theory’s predictions.
|Independent Variable||Dependent Variable||Predicted Outcome|
|Follows Institution Rules||Fear or no Fear?||No Fear|
|Economic Interdependence||Fear or no Fear?||No Fear|
This section will examine the findings of military spending in Germany, Great Britain, France, and Spain. The spending is measured by how much each states spends as a percentage of their GDP. Further, figure 1 will also include public opinion towards Germany for the years 2008-2014. Figure 1 will be followed by a brief analysis of the findings, the dependent variable, and finally whether or not this first independent variable works for, against, or not at all in verifying the Offensive Structural Realist prediction.
Both Great Britain and France spend over 2% of their GDP, while Germany never spends above 1.85% of their GDP on their military (World Bank 2008-2014). Nevertheless, public opinion of Germany remains remarkable consistent in both France and Great Britain. Neither drop below 60%, and by 2014 France has an 83% approval rating while Great Britain has risen from 62% in 2008 to 86% by 2014. The only noticeable drop we see is in Spain.
Yet, in terms of evaluating this independent variable for the Offensive Structural Realist theory, Germany military spending remains considerably lower than both Great Britain and France, and it is not extraordinarily different than Spain’s. Therefore, because of the stability of Germany’s military spending, this independent variable neither helps nor hurts the Offensive Structural Realist predictions of how states should feel about Germany’s rising status. Consequently, we now look to another independent variable: population.
This section will compare German population with the other three states measured and compare those numbers to public opinion of Germany. Population is measured by total number of people, but in table 3 the population growth rates will also be listed. The data in figure 2 shows that Germany has a significantly larger population that the other three states. However, it should be noted that for most years, Germany’s population rate is significantly lower than the other three states. Despite Germany having a larger population, the public opinions of the other states are generally high. The only exception would be Spain in 2014, but if fear of Germany’s population were the problem, then all states should have never started with a high public opinion in 2008.
Thus, the data shows that this indicator of population does not hold when testing Offensive Structural Realism. Indeed, this is one of the theory’s latent powers, and Germany’s obvious advantage in population should cause concern among its neighbors. Yet France and Great Britain’s public opinions increase. Spain’s public opinion does trend downward, but because Spain had a high opinion of Germany in 2008 while Germany’s population was high, it seems that Spain’s public opinion is not in consequence to Germany’s population advantage. Now, let’s transition to another independent variable: share of wealth.
|Population Growth (%)
Source: World Bank Development Indicators (2008-2014).
In this section we will examine the share of wealth of the measured states within the EU. This is measured by the total percentage of GDP each states holds of the EU’s total GDP. Below figure 3 represents only Germany, Great Britain, France, and Spain. However, figure 4 lists all
EU member states’ share of wealth in 2016.
In figure 3, Germany has steadily increased in its wealth share within the EU. Great Britain has seen mixed but mostly positive growth. France has been stable. Spain is the only measured state with a sizeable decrease in share of wealth within the EU. However, among France and Great Britain, public opinion of Germany has increased despite Germany’s increasing share of wealth in Europe. Spain’s public opinion has decreased.
With Germany having a sizeable and increasing relative share of wealth, Offensive Structural Realism would predict that other states within its region should be worried. Indeed, Mearsheimer writes that “the great powers in the international system are invariably among the world’s wealthiest states” (Mearsheimer 2001, 61). However, Great Britain and France do have a highly favorable opinion of Germany. Spain would be the only evidence in favor of Offensive Structural Realism, but because Great Britain and France are so different from Spain in their public opinions of Germany, it is reasonable to conclude that the share of wealth independent variable does not produce the dependent variable necessary to prove this theory.
Offensive Structural Realism predicts that states will become fearful of a rising power in a multi-polar system. This test case of Germany used the hard power independent variable of military spending, and two latent power independent variables in population and share of wealth. While Germany’s percentage of GDP on military spending is consistently lower than Great Britain, France, and Spain’s, the two latent power variables indicate that this theory is incorrect. Indeed, Germany’s population is much larger. It does hold a larger share of wealth in Europe. However, the data showed an increase in positive public opinion of Germany in Great Britain and France. Again, Spain is the lone exception which merits further explanation that goes outside the scope of this paper. Nevertheless, the Spanish exception does not outweigh the trends seen in Great Britain and France. If Offensive Structural Realism’s predictions were valid, Great Britain and France should have had a negative opinion of Germany, not an increasingly positive one. Therefore, Offensive Structural Realism does not hold in this case.
|Independent Variable||Dependent Variable||Predicted Outcome||Actual Outcome|
|Size of Military Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear||Not Applicable|
|Population Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear||No Fear|
|Share of Wealth Increase||Fear or no Fear?||Fear||No Fear|
This paper is now switching to the Institutionalist theory and its first independent variable test. Germany shares many institutions with its European neighbors, especially with the three being tested today. However, this section will be concerned with the European Union and two specific monetary rules. The EU provides stringent principles, rules, and norms in which its member states must adhere to if the institution is to function properly. Concerning economic policy, the European Union coordinates the economic and fiscal policies of its member states in order to work as a single market. This requires strong supervision and monitoring of the financial policies of the member states (How Economic and Monetary Unions Work). For example, under the Growth and Stability Pact, EU member states must make their “deficits to be less than 3% GDP” and their “government debt to be less than 60% of GDP” (How Economic and Monetary Unions Work). Since all member states are invested in these agreements, they will be monitored and expected to follow them. If one-member state breaks the rules in order to pursue an egotistical advantage while other states suffer, then an Institutionalist would predict that neighboring states would have a negative opinion of that state. If Germany’s recent prospering is due to its breaking of the EU rules, then it follows that its neighboring states would hold a negative view of it.
This variable will examine the two EU rule indicators mentioned above: (1) EU member states deficits to be less than 3% GDP, and (2) EU member states keeping government debt to be less than 60% of GDP. Figure 5 examines deficit to GDP. None of the four states except for Germany were within this stated rule. Germany, likely in consequence to the EU financial crisis in 2009, did briefly dip blow 3% deficit. It goes beyond the scope of this paper to examine why each of the measured states did or did not meet the 3% benchmark. Nevertheless, the numbers do show Germany did generally, except between 2009-2011, meet this rule. Further, Great Britain and Frances’ public opinion of Germany increased over these years.
Figure 6 deals with debt to GDP. None of the four states measured met the EU goal of their government debt to not exceed 60% of GDP. All the states were well above that mark, but only Germany saw its debt to GDP percentage begin to decrease in 2012. Spain, on the other hand, saw its debt rise from well below 60% of GDP to over 100%. Great Britain, like Spain, also started with a debt below 60% and saw its debt rise above that benchmark. While Germany was not in compliance with this rule, none of the four states were after 2012. Therefore, this seems to eliminate the possibility of a backlash towards Germany for not being in compliance with this rule. Again, except for Spain, the public opinion of Germany increased in Great Britain and France.
Thus, this first independent variable shows that Germany and the other three states measured share an institution that has established principles, rules, and norms in which all member states should follow. The first indictor showed that Germany was in compliance with one of the rules. The second indicator showed that Germany did run a higher debt to GDP percentage, but all other states did as well, and Germany was the only one decreasing that debt. An Institutionalist would predict that states only become weary of a rising power if it is breaking the rules of the institution at the expense of other states. Since public opinion of Germany is high in Great Britain and France, it would seem that Germany is not breaking rules at their expense. Spain is an outlier that deserves further exploration, but its unpopularity of Germany does not seem to be tied to Germany’s incompliance of institutional rules. Indeed, Germany is closer to compliance that Spain in these rules.
Another important variable in the Institutionalist theory is the economic interdependence of states. This section is concerned with data that shows the imports to Germany from the other three measured states, and the exports from Germany to those same states. This paper will then examine the economic interdependence paired with German public opinion.
Below, figure 7 shows the percentage of imports that come to Germany from other states. Spain, France, and Great Britain all differ in terms of their export percentage to Germany. There does not seem to be a correlation between the German import percentage of specific states’ and public opinion of Germany. Indeed, when the Germany was receiving the most British exports from the years measured, 2008, Great Britain had the lowest public opinion of Germany for the years measured. Thus, this indicator does not seem to particularly help or hinder the economic interdependence variable.
Figure 8 below maps the percentage of German exports that go to each of the following measured states. There seems to be a small correlation between the percentage of exports from Germany and the receiving state’s public opinion. Indeed, Spanish public opinion began to tumble when they received a lesser percentage of German exports. The small increase in British imports from Germany corresponds with an uptick in public opinion. However, the correlation is not strong when it comes to France, yet they still had an increasingly positive public opinion of Germany from 2012-2014, despite them receiving a lesser percentage of German exports. Nevertheless, by this indicator, both Great Britain and France are much more economically interdependent with Germany than Spain. From the years 2008-2014, Great Britain and France never fell out of Germany’s top ten trading partners (UN Comtrade database 2008-2014). Spain, in all years except 2008, was outside the German top ten in both imports and exports (UN Comtrade database 2008-2014).
Thus, it seems that the Institutionalist theory is correct that economic interdependence does matter. Although Germany is itself doing well economically relative to Great Britain and France, both of those states have a significantly higher economic interdependence with Germany than Spain does with Germany. This paper does not claim that Spain’s lesser degree of economic interdependence is the sole reason for its fall in German public opinion. That subject itself deserves exploration in another paper. Yet what this paper does claim is that there is a correlation between economic interdependence and public opinion.
This paper tested two independent variables for the Institutionalist theory. The first was whether Germany followed the rules of a shared institution, and the data showed that Germany was in compliance with one monetary rule, and that all four states were in violation of the second rule. Thus, the first independent variable delivers murky results that do not prove or invalidated Institutionalism. The second independent variable tested was whether economic interdependence helped the public opinion of Germany. In this variable, the data showed that despite Germany’s rise, both France and Great Britain had a high degree of economic interdependence and a growing favorable view of Germany. Again, Spain is an outlier in terms of their opinion of Germany. But Spain is also not as economically interdependent with Germany. That could be part of the reason for Spain’s falling opinion of Germany. The table below juxtaposes Institutionalism’s predicted outcomes against the actual outcomes of this test case. It would seem that Institutionalism offers greater explanatory power.
|Independent Variable||Dependent Variable||Predicted Outcome||Actual Outcome|
|Shared Institutions||Fear or no Fear?||No Fear||Unable to account|
|Economic Interdependence||Fear or no Fear?||No Fear||No Fear|
This section discusses some brief caveats of this test case. The first has to do with the three states selected. It would have been ideal to compare Germany against more states. However, due to the time and length limitations, this paper could only test three instead of more. Also, in terms of the Institutionalist independent variables, there is much more to be said and researched about the different rules the EU has for its member states and whether Germany is in compliance with them. This paper chose the deficit and debt to GDP percentages because those were especially prevalent during the years of 2008-2014. Yet a further study into the compliance of those and other rules would strengthen this topic. The same goes for economic interdependence, especially concerning Spain. Further exploration into whether Spain has a better outlook on states with whom Spain has a greater import and export relationship could further strengthen this paper’s claim that a lesser trade relationship could lead states to have a less favorable opinion of their stronger neighbors. Another case that should be explored related to this topic is how to other EU states feel about German influence in the EU? This paper showed public opinion towards Germany but not towards German influence in the EU. Lastly, there is a ‘what-if’ question of whether Great Britain and France would still have high opinions of Germany if Germany was increasing its military spending. Of course, this test case cannot answer that question. Yet if one could find such a test case, it would either help validate the Institutionalist theory or show that more exploration is warranted.
This paper sought to explore how German neighbors feel about Germany as a rising power. Does German economic prosperity lead to less German popularity among its neighbors, or do the institutions in which Germany and its neighbors are a part of keep such unpopularity in check? The data of German public opinion showed that in Great Britain and France, public opinion in Germany increased between 2008-2014. In Spain, public opinion of Germany fell. This paper used the public opinion data to test the predictions of two international relations theories in order to see which had the most explanatory power. Despite Germany having a larger population and holding a larger share of wealth in the EU, none of the Offensive Structural Realist predictions held. One of the Institutionalist predictions did. What does this mean in context for present-day Germany? It would seem that if Germany continues to reside in institutions with its neighbors, and if Germany can keep a high degree of economic interdependence with them, then German neighbors should not fear German power. Indeed, Spain did have a lower public opinion of Germany by 2014, but Spain was not as economically intertwined with Germany either. Of course, more data and years could help to make this argument stronger. Nevertheless, what data does strongly show is that states do not fear Germany just because it holds more wealth in Europe or has a higher population. In other words, neighboring states do not fear Germany because it has more power in and of itself. If a state in Europe has a lower public opinion of Germany, it must stem from a more nuanced reason.
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 Their lack of German imports may be offset by their increase in exports to Germany.
 I chose this chart as the jumping-off point of this paper. It shows a consistent climb in Germany’s share of EU wealth while the other three states are not as consistent.
Abstract: As of 2016, China has become Brazil, Chile, and Peru’s largest trading partner and remains an incredibly important financier throughout the Latin American region. Many analysts consider Chinese geoeconomics as a zero-sum game in which growing Chinese influence directly jeopardizes American leverage. However, this paper will address how although the US does seek to maintain economic influence in Latin America and protect the integrity of market liberalization, Chinese economic engagement in the region has not jeopardized US grand strategy. The Chinese-Latin American relationship has not provided China with significant leverage over Latin American foreign policy decisions that stand in opposition to US priorities. In response to the strategic dangers proposed by numerous analysts, I propose a different understanding of the international environment and new policy options based on strengthening economic systems and further incorporating China and Latin America into an infrastructure that ensures components of US grand strategy are not endangered.
In a 2016 campaign rally, then-candidate Donald Trump lambasted China for “cheating” American manufacturers and emphasized that “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.” Trump’s successful “Make America Great Again” platform partially relied on this depiction of China as an enemy of US manufacturing and economic prowess around the world. As Chinese investments and trade have grown substantially within the past fifteen years, some analysts describe China as a revisionist, emerging country challenging the existing global order and aiming to reshape the rules to align with national interests. They suggest that China’s rise is unlikely to be peaceful as it continues to grow economically and extend its dominance throughout the world. With regard to Latin America, analysts underscore the economic and diplomatic threats that increased influence of China in the hemisphere pose for the US. These characterizations, however, fail to draw connections between trade relationships with China and foreign policy implications that may jeopardize US global leadership.
As Hal Brands explains, grand strategy is “a purposeful and coherent set of ideas about what a nation seeks to accomplish in the world, and how it should go about doing so” all the while maintaining “a clear understanding of the nature of the international environment.” In the 21st century, the US seeks to ensure the continuity of international economic institutions (e.g. International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank) and the persistence of market liberalization. Analysts who depict the rise of China in Latin America as a threat to US interests propose confrontational means of engagement with China. However, this paper will address how although the US does seek to maintain economic influence in Latin America and protect the integrity of market liberalization, Chinese economic engagement in the region has not jeopardized US grand strategy. The Chinese-Latin American relationship has not provided China with significant leverage over Latin American foreign policy decisions that stand in opposition to US priorities.
In response to the perceived dangers, I propose a different understanding of the international environment and new policy strategies based on strengthening economic systems and further incorporating China and Latin America into this infrastructure to ensure components of US grand strategy are not endangered. First, I will describe China’s geoeconomic strategy at large, outlining China’s primary foreign policy goals: namely, sustaining economic growth and development and ensuring energy security in the near and long term. I will also describe the economic activities China takes to achieve these goals. Second, I will present two case studies that highlight Chinese geoeconomic improvements vis-à-vis Latin America: Brazil and Chile, where Chinese engagement has been profoundly impactful. By discussing the political economies of these countries and their histories with the US, I will illustrate how historical trends have influenced each country’s proclivity to interact with China. I will then describe the specific Chinese economic activities in each country comparing them to those of the US. Lastly, I will outline how the US can realign its hemispheric strategy to repair and strengthen its ties with Latin American countries and provide avenues for an inclusive rise of China.
The ‘rise of China’ through geoeconomics
The rise of China can be traced back to a Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger era of rapprochement and the ‘opening up’ of China during the 1960s. Following the divergence and later non-alliance between the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the 1950s and 1960s, China began a path toward entering the global economy and embarking on a successful mission of economic growth with a private enterprise market system. The majority of Latin America’s non-alliance with the US or Soviet Union during this era was seen among Chinese policymakers as an opportunity to forge alliances and espouse communist thought in the ‘third world.’ While ineffective in shaping political ideology during the 1960s, the CCP was able to germinate economic and diplomatic relationships with Latin America that sprung normalization of relations during the late 1970s. In the 21st century, there seems to be no evidence that Chinese economic relationships have persuaded Latin American nations to take up communism. Instead, diplomatic relationships deal more with securing economic opportunities and contributing to sizeable growth. From 1989 to 2017, Chinese GDP annual growth rate averaged 9.69 percent, an impressive statistic compared to the US average of less than 2 percent within in the last 10 years. China’s remarkable growth coupled with its increase in global influence can be attributed to key geoeconomic strategies and engagement with the world.
Chinese priorities include sustaining high economic growth and ensuring energy security to meet the demands of a growing population. To guarantee energy security, China has focused on leveraging economic tools to generate beneficial geopolitical outcomes. By trading with the Global South to purchase natural resources and increasing participation in international economic institutions, China has improved it global reach. China’s Policy Paper on Latin America outlines its geoeconomic approach: “utilizing trade, investment and financial cooperation as driving forces, and identifying energy and resources, infrastructure construction, agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation and information technology as cooperation priorities.”
To sustain economic growth, China invests heavily abroad. In 2016 Chinese global investments set a record of $183.1 billion (a 43.5 percent increase from 2015) to make FDI outflows exceed inflows. In 2014, development banks in China provided more finance to Latin American governments than the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank. In Latin America, half of all contracts with Chinese policy banks are commodity-backed loans wherein Latin American countries use goods like oil and copper as collateral for Chinese credits or loans at commercial rates. These commodity-backed loans represent an attractive alternative to loans from the IMF or other economic institutions that require structural adjustment reforms, including good governance political reforms or austerity measures. Latin America is not unique as a region where Chinese investments strategically ensure long-term access to natural resources. For example, Chinese investment activities in Africa also focus on extracting natural resources, providing infrastructure projects, and solidifying diplomatic relations to preserve China’s role as a leading manufacturing country.
By positioning itself as a major commodities market and a source of manufactured goods, China has strengthened its position in the global economy. China has become the largest export destination for Latin American goods like iron ore, oil, soybeans, copper, and other minerals. To mitigate risks of urbanization, desertification, population growth, and loss of farmland, China invests heavily in these international commodities markets. As the Policy Paper on Latin America describes, China has expanded its hemispheric strategy to cooperate with Latin America on establishing “long term supply of energy and resources products and local currency pricing and settlement, to reduce the impact of external economic and financial risks.” As the Chinese population continues to demand high-protein, high calorie foods, top Latin American exports of poultry, sugar beet, soya oil, vegetable oils, and soybeans help satisfy Chinese demand.
By working through global diplomatic and economic institutions, China seeks to strengthen its global role. China’s priorities with regard to economic institutions include strengthening cooperation with Latin American nations to reform global economic governance and increasing representation and shareholding among developing countries in the World Bank and IMF. Through institutions like the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (China-CELAC Forum), the two sides work to cooperate diplomatically and complement development initiatives. In the first ministerial meeting of China-CELAC Forum in January 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to increasing trade volume in Latin America to 500 billion USD and foreign direct investment (FDI) volume to 250 billion USD within ten years. China has worked to consolidate its role as a global financial power by integrating into a variety of sectors and technological trends as well. With the help of cheap loans from state owned banks, Chinese firms have engaged increasingly in mergers and acquisitions across Latin America, increasing Chinese stakeholders within the Latin American business landscape.
China’s activities in Latin American commodities markets affect global supply, but the US can continue to play a key role in the region. Increased mineral extraction and Chinese demand for commodities increased prices for Latin American goods, which helped improve economic conditions. However, relying on China as the dominant export destination suggests that Latin American producers and shippers are beholden to domestic Chinese markets. As Chinese economic growth slowed in the past two years, Latin American exports shrank and Latin America’s trade deficit increased (see figure 1). Some fear that China’s long-term objectives point toward trends of Chinese state-owned enterprises cornering markets and creating monopolies of commodities to the detriment of other global actors. Chinese companies have not only purchased the commodities themselves, but also have begun to buy land in Latin America to produce goods themselves, including soybean farmland in Brazil. In reality, these conditions (while potentially challenging for the US) are also considered problematic for citizens within the countries. Even as China grows in relative strength throughout Latin America, the US continues to be an essential trading partner for the region.
A stronger relationship between China and Latin America does not jeopardize the US’s relationship with the region. Some fear that the current situation is a zero-sum game wherein China’s increased trade relationship precludes US economic gains. But free trade raises all boats. Chinese effort to integrate into a global industrial and technological environment through acquiring industrial assets in Latin America grows the pie for all. Increasing terms of trade through increased commodities prices boosted investor confidence for the region and increased foreign exchange reserves. Insofar as Chinese relationships do not include leverage over Latin American foreign policy decisions that contradict US national security priorities, Chinese trade in Latin America is beneficial for the region and the US.
Brazilian economic relationship with China
Brazil’s economic challenges of the past
Brazil’s experience over the last 35 to 40 years with the US and international economic institutions empowered by the US have challenged Brazilian-US diplomatic relations. During the 1950s to the late 1970s, Brazil underwent state-led industrialization that built up industrial sectors and protected national industries with high tariffs. Mounting economic disequilibria, extensive borrowing due to negative real interest rates, and investments that did not meet expectations on returns meant that Brazil was unable to make payments on outstanding foreign loans and was consequently cut off from international financial markets. To stabilize the Brazilian economy, the IMF offered loans under conditions that the government cut domestic social spending, increase taxes, privatize nationalized industries, raise interest rates, and increase exports by devaluing the Brazilian real. The World Bank offered programs for loans that required structural adjustment policies to reorganize the Brazilian economy by focusing on increasing exports and lowering tariffs to enter the global economy. These policies of the ‘Washington Consensus’ during the 1990s pushed Brazilian economic development toward a more open economy based on economic orthodoxy. However, inequality, poverty, and a concentration of wealth among elites remained largely unchanged. The neoliberal reforms of the IMF led to a backlash among former urban and middle class industrial coalition members who had benefited from social programs and government subsidies prior to the IMF and World Bank reforms. Brazilian critics of the IMF’s structural adjustment policies argued that US imperialism was at work through imposing economic power over sovereign Latin American countries. This historical relationship of economic tensions between Brazil and the IMF sets the stage for Brazil’s interest in engaging with China- an alternative source for economic development.
During the 2000s, partially in response to the Washington Consensus neoliberal policies, leftist politicians in Brazil gained power and implemented policies with democratic yet anti-neoliberal underpinnings. Brazilian leftist president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva’s policies are often categorized as moderate, working within democratic and capitalist systems to achieve redistributionist policies. The Worker’s Party candidate, Lula emphasized a pursuit of social equity, justice and solidarity, and a transformation of the nation’s economic structures to better fulfill the social needs of the majority. Much of Lula’s state social programs were possible because of the commodity boom of the 2000s, bolstered by newly flourishing ties with China. Brazilian leftist leaders had rejected the neoliberal policies endorsed by the US, tried to implement redistributionist policies that countered the austerity measures of the past decade, and found their financier in China.
The ‘China Boom’ in Brazil
In May 2004, President Lula led a delegation of cabinet ministers, state governors, and over 450 business leaders to China in an effort to establish closer ties with an expanding Chinese market. Leftist Brazilian economic leaders sought an alternative to the Washington Consensus policies of the 1990s defined, in their view, by slow growth and accentuated inequality. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao and Lula signed over 15 trade agreements that positioned Brazilian natural resources as attractive trades for Chinese capital to support infrastructure projects throughout Brazil. For the next ten years, Brazilian natural resource exporters would reap the benefits of an expanding Chinese economy in what Kevin Gallagher describes as the ‘China Boom.’ Annual trade with China increased from around $2 billion a year in 2000 to $83 billion in 2013, a 4050 percent increase in less than 15 years. China’s 2004 constitutional amendment to grant non-state owned enterprises legal status underscored Beijing’s encouragement for business development and the internationalization of Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These Chinese enterprises turned to Brazil to purchase natural resources, supply Chinese domestic manufacturing base, and feed the country’s large population.
Chinese trade with Brazil relies predominately on natural resources like iron ore, soybeans, and oil in exchange for manufactured goods. During the ‘China Boom’ in 2006, 42.7 percent of all soybeans exported from Brazil and 37.8 percent of all iron exports went to China, indicating a substantial market share of China in Brazilian exports. China continued to purchase Brazilian natural resources, and by 2013, China was Brazil’s largest trading partner. Although China remains the largest trading partner on net, the US continues to be a significant partner and supplier of goods for the Brazilian market, accounting for 8.1 billion USD worth of exports to Brazil in 2016. In contrast to China’s appetite for natural resources, US imports from Brazil are more diverse and focused on a variety of sectors. In 2016, 34 percent of China’s imports from Brazil were soybeans and 28 percent iron ore compared to the US that imported less than 3 percent of semi-finished iron. The Chinese market dominance for Brazilian natural resources does not threaten US resource security. Rather, Brazil and the US compete for the Chinese market of natural resources but still collaborate in agricultural research in the US’s principal forum for bilateral agricultural discussion with Brazil, the Consultative Committee on Agriculture.
The effects of Chinese engagement with Brazil generate significant results for all parties. As iron ore and soybeans become scarcer, increasing Chinese demand raises the price of goods. This helps local farmers and general economic development within Brazil. Chinese engagement has also decreased inequality within Brazil. However, because of Brazil’s heavy reliance on natural resource exports, any dip in Chinese domestic demand for these commodities could have profound effects on Brazilian producers and shippers. Working with China to diversify and solidify a more stable Brazilian economy could advance the US’s larger strategic goal of safeguarding stable, free market economies.
Chinese-Brazilian diplomatic ties
Chinese-Brazilian relations extend beyond trade and investment as well. Both members of the BRICS economies (a term referring to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) aim to strengthen political and economic ties among other developing nations and rebalance global economic power. Both states advocate for reforms to the IMF to increase emerging states’ political voice in an international arena. In reality, these demands present relatively little leverage in foreign policy against the interests of the US. A new quota allocation and voting share reform to the IMF does not jeopardize American grand strategy of economic liberalization or the adoption of international norms (protection of human rights, democracy, etc.). While these international economic systems are integral avenues wherein the US can promote its economic goals, even with reforms to the way that countries maintain voting power would not necessarily preclude US leadership in the arena. In fact, despite some delays and roadblocks posed by the US Congress, the 2010 approval of the IMF’s 14th General Quota Review went into effect in 2014 granting Brazil, China, India and Russia greater voting power in the IMF. While voting shares for Brazil and China increased to 2.2 and 6 percent respectively, the US maintained a voting share of 16.5 percent. Additionally, in July 2014, the BRICS countries launched a New Development Bank that would serve as a move away from dependence on the IMF and World Bank for country-level financing. Emerging nations’ appetites for a change in the balance of power continues to be an important issue. But more platforms for country-level financing are not a direct threat to American interests. So long as these new powers do not coerce other nations to turn against free markets or democracy, the US does not lose out.
Some may perceive Brazil’s rising economic strength and political rhetoric for a remodeling of international hierarchies of power as dangerously revisionist. By connecting Brazilian revisionist ideas to Brazil’s relationship with China, analysts seek to describe how the two emerging powers pose a threat to US global hegemony. Brazil’s request for permanent seat on United Nations Security Council during the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, however, is an example of how China does not always support Brazil’s intent to increase its relative power. Both the US and China did not approve of Brazil’s request. In this case, China is not the variable that incites or encourages Brazilian revisionist views. Instead, Brazil’s push for a greater voice in the international arena is a function of its increasing power over the past 15 years and a history of US ‘imperialism’ within the international economic system as the Brazilians view it.
Brazilian pushback to Chinese geoeconomics
Despite the overall substantial economic growth that Chinese engagement in Brazil spurred, not all Brazilians are keen on China’s extractivism. Opponents to Chinese engagement in the region complicate the idea that Brazil’s relationship with China has emboldened Brazil to seek revisionist policies. Especially in the aftermath of the commodity boom and influx of Chinese manufactured goods, Brazilian manufacturers are wary of what cheap Chinese imports entail for competition at home and abroad. In comparison to her predecessor Lula who established a strong relationship with China, former President Dilma Rousseff nuanced Brazilian relations with the emergent China. In 2011, Rousseff’s administration responded to competitive Chinese pressures by imposing import tariffs on Chinese steel products to protect domestic manufacturers and applied anti-dumping tariffs retroactively.
Beyond the manufacturing industry, indigenous groups have put pressure on the Brazilian government to reconsider the relationship the nation maintains with China. Brazilian scholars and ecologists critique the detrimental trends of neo-extractivism, trade asymmetries of commodities and manufactured goods, and the strategies of development that exacerbate inequalities. Particularly, the Munduruku indigenous group in the Tapajós basin of the Amazon condemn current President Michel Temer’s decision to utilize Chinese and European financing to turn the river into a grain canal by building dams along the river system. The infrastructure project would allow Brazil to increase meat and grain production, supplying China with more natural resources. However, much like the extractivist projects in the past with rubber, logging, and mining in the Amazon, the Tapajós river transport scheme would “accelerate deforestation, habitat loss and social problems.” The current proposal incites centuries of history of colonization by foreign powers over local communities and indigenous struggles for land rights. Acceptance of Chinese dominance in Brazil’s natural resource market may not be as undisputed as some suggest.
Underneath the rapid growth in trade between Brazil and China are tensions and pushback to market domination. Moves to reform the IMF or UNSC, while telling of the foreign policy visions of each country, do not jeopardize US interests or national security. Instead, amplified engagement with China has served as a method for Brazil to further integrate into the international economic system despite some hesitations to Chinese influence. As a once closed-off country pursuing development through state-led industrialization, Brazil has come to be a frontrunner in modern global economy. By working within the free market economy and global infrastructure that the US helped define, Chinese trade and investments in Brazil have only strengthened the value of US leadership and worldview. Any discourse that some would describe as ‘revisionist’ cannot be attributed specifically to Brazil’s relationship with China.
Chilean economic relationship with China
Chile’s economic challenges of the past
The 1970 election of socialist Salvador Allende in Chile was seen in Washington as a major setback to its anti-communist global interests of the Cold War. After a CIA-supported military coup against Allende in 1973, General Augusto Pinochet assumed power and a group of young Chilean economists educated at the University of Chicago (the Chicago Boys) helped shape the Chilean economic system. The Chicago Boys implemented market friendly policies with stabilization plans, financial, commercial, and structural reforms of raising taxes, cutting spending, privatizing firms, and deregulating key industries. Their market path to economic liberalization within the authoritarian regime is often described as ‘pragmatic neoliberalism.’ The Pinochet regime centralized power, attacked the industries that had benefited from state-led industrialization of the past, abolished the trade union movement, and instituted a repressive state to impose reforms that would move Chile toward a liberalized economy. In contrast to Brazil, Chile was largely protected from the Latin American economic crisis and other major economic imbalances because of the Chicago Boy’s economic reforms. Although Chilean politicians also responded to the authoritarian policies of the past with a shift to the left, market oriented policies were well engrained in Chilean economic system unlike Brazilian leftist leaders who gained power by criticizing the proposals and assumptions of the IMF.
Following Pinochet’s violent and repressive regime, opposition leftist leaders gained power and worked within the capitalist global order and free market economic strategy to guide the market toward schemes that would make it produce benefits for broad sectors. President Michelle Bachelet, elected in 2006, is a social democratic leader who works toward a socialist agenda of redistribution of resources all the while maintaining a general commitment to a neoliberal consensus that would not jeopardize the economic gains made over time. Chile’s history of success through working with an export oriented growth model demonstrates how even leftist leaders of today (who to some degree criticize US hegemony and intervention of the past) continue to work within a global economic order constructed by the US.
The ‘China Boom’ in Chile
Chilean trade and investment with China does not change this acceptance of the global free market. In fact, the economic relationship strengthens it. In 2005, the two nations signed a free trade agreement (FTA)- the first Latin American country to do so with China- that included provisions for free entry for 92 percent of exports from Chile to China. Like many other Latin American nations, Chile benefited from the ‘China Boom’ as Chilean exports to China grew an average rate of 21 percent per year from 2005 to 2013. Similar to Brazil, natural resources dominate Chilean exports to China. As the largest producer and exporter of copper in the world with over one-third of the global output, Chile serves as a key supplier for China, the world’s largest consumer of copper. Although Chile entered FTA negotiations in search of greater FDI for non-mining sectors, Chinese interests focused on natural resources and the mining sector. Today, refined cooper and copper ore make up 45.5 percent of Chilean exports. It is problematic that almost half of Chile’s export economy is dependent on Chinese demand for a specific natural resource. Nevertheless, the relationship is currently stable, without signs of China leveraging its market share to make Chile support Chinese interests in international economic institutions. In addition, Chile is taking steps to diversify its economy and seek investments in non-mining sectors.
Chilean pushback to Chinese geoeconomics
Recently, greater pragmatism has prompted Chile and China to rethink how they do work together. “Falling revenues from exports to China, fewer Chinese petroleum and mining investments, and greater competition from Chinese product exporters and construction companies” shift China toward being seen as a competitor rather than a spring of economic opportunity in Latin America within the past few years. Much like Brazil, the Chilean government pursued efforts to combat the asymmetric flow of goods with China. However, Chilean measures have focused less on imposing protective measures, and more on implementing proactive policies to diversify their economy. The Ministry of Economy provided 2.5 billion USD worth of low interest credits to help Chilean SMEs modernize as they represent 90 percent of new jobs created in the country but account for less than 1 percent of all exports. Chile has also taken measures to invest in the information technology sector to attract businesses from around the world through programs like Program Invest Chile of the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción and Start Up Chile of ProChile.
Chile has had a historically different economic relationship with the US (and the global economy) than Brazil. Despite the draconian cuts to social programs, violent political repression of the Pinochet regime, and persistent inequality, the Chilean economy benefited from economic liberalization of the past. Today, Chile’s engagement with China strengthens Chile’s integration into a global system. The Chinese-Chilean relationship is not a threat to the US as the relationship has not spurred Chile to combat or counteract US policies. It seems China is not the variable that prompts nations to adopt or enhance revisionist policies in Latin America. Chilean measures to strengthen their own economies serve as an example of how Chile respects free trade, but does not allow China to maintain total leverage over the country. China’s soft power is limited here.
Policy implications for US geoeconomics in Latin America
As described, the US does not have to conceptualize increased trade relations between China and Latin America as a threat to US global influence. The US can strengthen its international position without undergoing combative policies, instead focusing on how China’s relationship in Latin America can be leveraged to solidify US leadership. I propose four policy options for the US to address China in Latin America. First, the current administration should work to establish a forum for connecting the national security priorities of the US with specific economic statecraft. Second, the US should strengthen the institutions and norms that underpin the international economic order in which the US leads. Third, the US should signal to China that it is willing to cooperate in Latin America and incorporate China into US policies for the region. This may include Chinese-American cooperation in investing in Latin American SMEs in sectors beyond natural resources. Finally, the US should work to build better relationships through trade with Latin America that will signal to the region a new era of relationships- one in which cooperation, not coercion is the defining feature. The US can acknowledge its past mistakes, restate how the US market can offer diversity for Latin America, and cooperate with these nations in the international economic institutions. By reestablishing ties as partners not patrons with Latin America, the US can further the progress made by China in Latin America by bringing these nations further into the global economy- an outcome that benefits the US directly and can be offered as a ‘win’ for China as well.
First, without a clear structural connection between economic statecraft and national security policymaking, the US may encounter barriers to effective and efficient policymaking in the geoeconomic sphere. Former President Clinton’s Executive Order 12835 established the National Economic Council (NEC) that would “coordinate the economic policymaking process with respect to…international economic issues.” Former President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive emphasized the centrality of economic issues in US national security policymaking. But rather than focus specifically on the use of economics in achieving foreign policy goals, the NEC and National Security Council would address international economic issues more broadly. While foreign economic policy refers to the means that may or may not be economic to achieve economic ends, economic statecraft (or geoeconomics) applies economic means to ends that may or may not be economic. In the Chinese-Latin American case, a forum that would bring together policymakers to discuss and develop geoeconomic policies to pursue overall grand strategy priorities would be a smart option. This is not to say that the policies in this situation require combative geoeconomic responses to China’s presence in Latin America. Rather, developing a space to engage in these debates is essential when analyzing how (and how much) the US should respond to the rise of China generally.
Second, by reinforcing the institutions and norms that govern the global economic system, the US can preserve its leadership and incentivize China to integrate into the system rather than oppose it. Absorbing China into a system that favors market liberalization works to ensure the stability and survival of that system even if US relative power declines. With regard to the alternative financial sources for development (e.g. China Development Bank and the New Development Bank established by BRICS states), the US should ensure that these new institutions and alternatives align with the goals of other US institutions. Tethering these new development banks to the norms and regulations that the US first established with other financial systems would reinforce US relevancy and importance. Third, the Latin America environment can serve as a stage for China and the US to cooperate in building up Latin American infrastructure and economic power. More robust economies, larger consumer markets, and increased efficiency for doing business abroad benefit all parties. Concretely, the US and China can jointly invest in Latin American SMEs and entrepreneurship initiatives in sectors beyond natural resources. This would strengthen capabilities and growth opportunities that will have lasting effects for the parties.
The past two years have signaled a possible turning point for China in Latin America. As the commodity boom fades and Latin Americans question the role that China plays in the region, China may be faced with Latin American pressures to decrease their presence. An opportune policy window, the current climate in Latin America is one ripe to re-establish a relationship with the US- the final policy suggestion. The 1823 Monroe Doctrine and the 1904 Roosevelt Corollary outlined the US’s role as a ‘big brother’ for the hemisphere, but many Latin Americans rejected the paternalistic relationship throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. By offering diverse trade and better diplomatic relations with Latin America, the US can redefine their relationship with the hemisphere and offer Latin American economies what Chinese exports lack. Agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement can demonstrate the value of transnational trade relationships. The current administration should focus on how trade agreements can support broader foreign policy goals of maintaining international relevancy and strength. Furthermore, the US can engage constructively with Latin America in international institutions. By dialoging on some of the critiques and reforms that China and Latin America often profess, the US can quell some of the reformative rhetoric that Brazil (and others) makes. Without conceding overall dominance, the US can readjust its position in international economic institutions with little to no risks in doing so. The US can work to incorporate these countries into the global economic system while at the same time addressing Chinese concerns.
Analysts who take a more realist interpretation of the dynamics in the region posit that any relative gain by China is a significant threat to the US. Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris suggest that preserving US primacy in the global system should be America’s primary objective; global dominance should be America’s overall grand strategy. The forces of globalization are such that containment of Chinese geoeconomics would be futile, and the US position toward China in the past assisted (not countered) Chinese ascendancy. Integrating China into a global economic system led by the US would be “at the expense of the United States’ global preeminence and long-term strategic interests.” However, Chinese geoeconomics around the world does not just face a US policy infrastructure. China faces an entire Western liberal order that is durable and easy to join. Insofar as Latin America intends to develop their economy and provide social programs for its citizens, the Western liberal order can continue to be the method by which they do so. China can and should join in this endeavor. Additionally, US global cultural dominance extends into Latin America, and while the effects of reach are hard to measure, Latin Americans are still interested in maintaining strong relationship with this world superpower. Focusing on how China can join the US in assisting these nations in moving toward that infrastructure will be a key aspect of long-term American grand strategy.
While it may seem counterintuitive that a more pervasive Chinese engagement in the hemisphere does not necessarily pose threats to the US, increased trade with Latin America is a route for both parties to adopt international norms that the US has developed and promoted. Trade and investment with Latin America can be viewed as a means to incorporate China more deeply into the liberal world order in which the US leads. In the Latin American case, US power and principles align to guide actions abroad by employing economic tools and trade initiatives to support a key principle of market liberalization. In other regions of the world where Chinese investments and development projects run deep (e.g. Africa and Central Asia), the Latin American environment serves as an example in understanding how the US can protect the ends of its foreign policy goals by developing means to incorporate China. As the debate about how to respond to the rise of China continues, US foreign policymakers have many paths to secure national interests. Policymakers are compelled to challenge and question the assumptions that underlie policy decisions. Questioning China’s growing economic relationship with Latin America is an important exercise in developing comprehensive and robust foreign policy.
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Fornés, Gastón and Alan Butt Philip, The China-Latin America axis: emerging markets and the future of globalization. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Franko, Patrice M. The Puzzle of Latin American Economic Development. Second ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.
French, John D. “Many Lefts, One Path? Chávez and Lula.” Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change. Ed. Maxwell A. Cameron and Eric Hershberg. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publ., 2010. 41-60.
Gachúz, Juan Carlos (2012), Chile’s Economic and Political Relationship with China, in: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41, 1, 133-154.
Gallagher, Kevin P., and Roberto Porzecanski. China and the Latin America Commodities Boom: A Critical Assessment. Working paper no. 192. University of Massachusetts Amherst, Feb. 2009. Web.
Gallagher, Kevin P. The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus. Oxford University Press, 2016.
Heine, Jorge. “The Chile-China Paradox: Burgeoning Trade, Little Investment.” Asian Perspective, vol. 40, no. 4, 2016, pp. 653-673, ProQuest Central; Sociological Abstracts, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1896828528?accountid=10598.
Hurwitz, Seth. “Economics and National Security: Six Questions for the Next Administration.
American Bar, 9 Jan. 2017, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/law_national_security/Economics%20and%20National%20Security%20(final).authcheckdam.pdf
Ikenberry, John G. “The Rise of China and the Future of the West.” Foreign Affairs, 15 Sept. 2015, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/2008-01-01/rise-china-and-future-west.
“IMF Reforms: China, India, Brazil, Russia Get Greater Say.” The BRICS Post, 28 Jan. 2016.
IMF Members’ Quotas and Voting Power, and IMF Board of Governors. International Monetary Fund , 22 Nov. 2017.
Kamrany, Nake M., and Frank Jiang. “China’s Rise to Global Economic Superpower.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2 Feb. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/nake-m-kamrany/chinas-rise-to-global-eco_b_6544924.html.
Katherman, Jennifer M. “Communist China in Latin America: Political Idealism and Economic Stratagems.” Emory Electronic Theses and Dissertations, Emory University, Emory University , 2010.
Kolb, James T. “Communist China’s National Strategy in Latin America.” Defense Technical Information Center, US Army War College, 1966, pp. ii-87.
Liptak, Kevin, and Jeremy Diamond. “Trump Trades Barbs for Flattery to Win over China.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 Nov. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/11/09/politics/donald-trump-china-xi-jinping/index.html.
Lyons, John, and Paul Kiernan. “Brazil’s Big Bet on China Turns Sour — Commodity Boom Lifted Nation, then Dropped it; ‘Resource Curse’ Induces ‘Nausea’.” Wall Street Journal, Aug 28, 2015, ProQuest Central; The Wall Street Journal, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1707745220?accountid=10598.
Mearsheimer, John J. “Can China Rise Peacefully?” The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, W.W. Norton & Company , 2001, pp. 360–412, nationalinterest.org/commentary/can-china-rise-peacefully-10204?page=show.
Monroe, James, “Message at the Commencement of the First Session of the Eighteenth Congress (The Monroe Doctrine),” 2 Dec. 1823, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/monroe.asp.
OECD/ECLAC/CAF (2015), Latin American Economic Outlook 2016: Toward a New Partnership with China, OECD Publishing, Paris.
Pilling, David. “Chinese Investment in Africa: Beijing’s Testing Ground.” Financial Times, 13 June 2013, www.ft.com/content/0f534aa4-4549-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996.
“Salud!; Chile and China.” The Economist, vol. 413, no. 8913, Nov 15, 2014, pp. 14-n/a, ProQuest Central, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1625584694?accountid=10598.
Simeos, Alexander J.G., and César A. Hidalgo. The Economic Complexity Observatory: An Analytical Tool for Understanding the Dynamics of Economic Development. Workshops at the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011.
Tegel, Simeon. “Latin America’s Delicate Dance With China.” US News, 25 Sept. 2017, www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-09-25/latin-america-is-wary-of-china-despite-closer-ties.
United States, Department of Agriculture, Food Agriculture Service. “Brazil.” www.fas.usda.gov/regions/brazil.
Watts, Jonathan. “Brazil’s Mega Hydro Plan Foreshadows China’s Growing Impact on the Amazon.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 05 Oct. 2017. Web.
Weyland, Kurt Gerhard., Raúl L. Madrid, and Wendy Hunter. “The Performance of Leftist Governments in Latin America: Conceptual and Theoretical Issues.” Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings. New York: Cambridge UP, 2010. 1-17.
Wise, Carol. “Tratados De Libre Comercio Al Estilo Chino: Los TLC Chile-China y Perú-China.” Apuntes, vol. 39, no. 71, 2012, pp. 161-189, PRISMA Database with HAPI Index, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1436980465?accountid=10598.
Zanini, Fábio. “Foreign Policy in Brazil: A Neglected Debate.” Harvard International Review, Harvard International Review, 23 Oct. 2014, hir.harvard.edu/article/?a=7486.
Figure 1. Latin America and the Caribbean, merchandise trade with China, $bn (2000-2015). “A Golden Opportunity.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 17 Nov. 2016.
 Jeremy Diamond, “Trump: ‘We Can’t Continue to Allow China to Rape Our Country’.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 May 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/05/01/politics/donald-trump-china-rape/index.html.
 Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, “Trump Trades Barbs for Flattery to Win over China.” CNN, Cable News Network, 9 Nov. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/11/09/politics/donald-trump-china-xi-jinping/index.html.
 John J. Mearsheimer, “Can China Rise Peacefully?” The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, W.W. Norton & Company , 2001, pp. 360–412, nationalinterest.org/commentary/can-china-rise-peacefully-10204?page=show. See also Robert D. Blackwill and Jennifer M. Harris, War by other means: geoeconomics and statecraft. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, A Council on Foreign Relations Book, 2016.
 Mearsheimer, “Can China Rise Peacefully?”
 Kevin P. Gallagher, The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus. (Oxford University Press, 2016). See also Blackwill and Harris, War by other means and Gastón Fornés and Alan Butt Philip, The China-Latin America axis: emerging markets and the future of globalization. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
 Hal Brands, What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush. (Cornell University Press, 2015), 3.
 Blackwill and Harris, War by other means.
 Nake M. Kamrany and Frank Jiang, “China’s Rise to Global Economic Superpower.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2 Feb. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/nake-m-kamrany/chinas-rise-to-global-eco_b_6544924.html. See also: James T. Kolb, “Communist China’s National Strategy in Latin America.” (Defense Technical Information Center, US Army War College, 1966), iii.
 Jennifer M. Katherman, “Communist China in Latin America: Political Idealism and Economic Stratagems.” (Emory Electronic Theses and Dissertations, Emory University, Emory University, 2010), 40.
 Ibid., 42.
 “China GDP Annual Growth Rate,” National Bureau of Statistics of China, TradingEconomics.com. 1989-2017.
 Robert D. Blackwill and J. Tellis. “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,” International Institutions and Global Governance Program. Council Special Report, 72, Council on Foreign Relations, March 2015, 9.
 Blackwill and Harris, War by other means, 9.
 China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 24 Nov. 2016, www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1418254.shtml. http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1418254.shtml
 Kevin P. Gallagher, The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus. (Oxford University Press, 2016), 65.
 Ibid., 46, 66, 74.
 Shaun Breslin, “Access: China’s Resource Foreign Policy,” China’s Geoeconomic Strategy. IDEAS Report, 12, London School of Economics, June 2012, 22.
 Gastón Fornés and Alan Butt Philip, The China-Latin America axis: emerging markets and the future of globalization. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 76.
 David Pilling, “Chinese Investment in Africa: Beijing’s Testing Ground.” Financial Times, 13 June 2013, www.ft.com/content/0f534aa4-4549-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996.
 Gallagher, The China Triangle, 169.
 “Salud!; Chile and China.” The Economist, vol. 413, no. 8913, Nov 15, 2014, pp. 14-n/a, ProQuest Central, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1625584694?accountid=10598. See also: Blackwill and Harris, War by other means, 41.
 “Salud!”, (The Economist, 2014).
 China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean.
 OECD, Latin American Economic Outlook 2016, 13.
 “First Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum Grandly Opens in Beijing Xi Jinping Attends Opening Ceremony and Delivers Important Speech, Stressing Firm Grasp of New Opportunities in China-CELAC Overall Cooperation to Jointly Write New Chapter of China-CELAC Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership” . Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 08 Jan. 2015, http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1227318.shtml
 OECD, Latin American Economic Outlook 2016, 11.
 Breslin, “Access: China’s Resource Foreign Policy,” 20. See also: OECD, Latin American Economic Outlook 2016, 30.
 Breslin, “Access: China’s Resource Foreign Policy,” 20.
 “A Golden Opportunity.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 17 Nov. 2016, www.economist.com/news/americas/21710307-chinas-president-ventures-donald-trumps-backyard-golden-opportunity.
 Breslin, “Access: China’s Resource Foreign Policy,” 21.
 Ibid., 22.
 Blackwill and Harris, War by other means, 180.
 OECD, Latin American Economic Outlook 2016, 33.
 Gallagher, The China Triangle, 60.
 Patrice M. Franko, The Puzzle of Latin American Economic Development. (Second ed., Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 59.
 Ibid., 86.
 Ibid., 127-132.
 Fábio Zanini, “Foreign Policy in Brazil: A Neglected Debate.” Harvard International Review, Harvard International Review, 23 Oct. 2014, hir.harvard.edu/article/?a=7486.
 John D. French, “Many Lefts, One Path? Chávez and Lula.” Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change. Ed. Maxwell A. Cameron and Eric Hershberg. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publ., 2010), 54.
 Jorge G. Castañeda, “Latin America’s Left Turn.” Foreign Affairs 85.3 (2006): 28-43. Council on Foreign Relations, May-June 2006, 35.
 Kurt Gerhard Weyland, Raúl L. Madrid, and Wendy Hunter. “The Performance of Leftist Governments in Latin America: Conceptual and Theoretical Issues.” Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings. (New York: Cambridge UP, 2010), 6.
 Gareth Chetwynd, “Lula Seals Deal to Feed China’s Booming Cities.” The Guardian, 27 May 2004.
 John Lyons, and Paul Kiernan. “Brazil’s Big Bet on China Turns Sour — Commodity Boom Lifted Nation, then Dropped it; ‘Resource Curse’ Induces ‘Nausea’.” Wall Street Journal, Aug 28, 2015, ProQuest Central; The Wall Street Journal, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1707745220?accountid=10598.
 Fornés and Philip, The China-Latin America axis , 94.
 Ibid., 72.
 Kevin P. Gallagher, and Roberto Porzecanski. China and the Latin America Commodities Boom: A Critical Assessment. Working paper no. 192. University of Massachusetts Amherst, Feb. 2009, 9.
 Gallagher, The China triangle, 6.
 Alexander J.G. Simeos, and César A. Hidalgo. The Economic Complexity Observatory: An Analytical Tool for Understanding the Dynamics of Economic Development. Workshops at the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011.
 Gallagher, The China triangle, 62.
 Breslin, “Access: China’s Resource Foreign Policy,” 20.
 “IMF Reforms: China, India, Brazil, Russia Get Greater Say.” The BRICS Post, 28 Jan. 2016.
 IMF Members’ Quotas and Voting Power, and IMF Board of Governors. International Monetary Fund , 22 Nov. 2017.
 “BRICS Countries Launch New Development Bank.” Bridges, vol. 18, no. 26, www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/brics-countries-launch-new-development-bank.
 OECD, Latin American Economic Outlook 2016, 30.
 Raymond Colitt, “Brazil Adopts China Import Tariff on Eve of Visit.” Reuters. Ed. Eric Beech. Thomson Reuters, 05 Apr. 2011.
 Andrea Cori, and Salvatore Monni. “Neo-Extractivism and the Resource Curse Hypothesis: Evidence from Ecuador.” Development 58.4 (2015): 594-607. ProQuest, 601.
 Jonathan Watts, Jonathan. “Brazil’s Mega Hydro Plan Foreshadows China’s Growing Impact on the Amazon.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 05 Oct. 2017.
 Sebastián Etchemendy, “Compensating Outsiders: Chile’s Market Model in the Comparative Framework .” Models of Economic Liberalization: Business, Workers, and Compensation in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 221.
 Ibid., 222.
 Ibid., 230.
 Ibid., 222.
 Weyland, Madrid, and Hunter. “The Performance of Leftist Governments,” 11.
 Carol Wise, “Tratados De Libre Comercio Al Estilo Chino: Los TLC Chile-China y Perú-China.” Apuntes, vol. 39, no. 71, 2012, PRISMA Database with HAPI Index, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1436980465?accountid=10598, 170.
 Jorge Heine, “The Chile-China Paradox: Burgeoning Trade, Little Investment.” Asian Perspective, vol. 40, no. 4, 2016, pp. 653-673, ProQuest Central; Sociological Abstracts, https://login.proxy.lib.duke.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.lib.duke.edu/docview/1896828528?accountid=10598, 658.
 Ibid., 656.
 Wise, “Tratados De Libre Comercio Al Estilo,” 162.
 Simeos and Hidalgo, The Economic Complexity Observatory.
 Wise, “Tratados De Libre Comercio Al Estilo,” 184.
 Evan Ellis, “China’s geo-economic role in Latin America,”Geo-economics with Chinese Characteristics: How China’s economic might is reshaping world politics. Report. January 2016. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Geoeconomics_with_Chinese_Characteristics.pdf
 Wise, “Tratados De Libre Comercio Al Estilo,” 170.
 Ibid., 172.
 Executive Order. No. 12835, 1993, 95.
 Seth Hurwitz, “Economics and National Security: Six Questions for the Next Administration.
American Bar, 9 Jan. 2017, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/law_national_security/Economics%20and%20National%20Security%20(final).authcheckdam.pdf, 7.
 John G. Ikenberry, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West.” Foreign Affairs, 15 Sept. 2015, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/2008-01-01/rise-china-and-future-west.
 James Monroe, “Message at the Commencement of the First Session of the Eighteenth Congress (The Monroe Doctrine),” 2 Dec. 1823, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/monroe.asp.
 Blackwill and Tellis, “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,” 4.
 Ibid., 6.
 Ikenberry, “The Rise of China.”
 Simeon Tegel, “Latin America’s Delicate Dance With China.” US News, 25 Sept. 2017, www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-09-25/latin-america-is-wary-of-china-despite-closer-ties.