In This Review

China Engages Latin America: Tracing the Trajectory
China Engages Latin America: Tracing the Trajectory
By Adrian Hearn,Jose Luis Leon-Manriquez
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011, 250 pp.

China has a coherent strategy in Latin America, but Latin America is most decidedly not responding in kind, the co-editors of this volume contend. The Chinese are investing primarily in natural resource extraction and flooding Latin American markets with cheap industrial goods, thus shifting bilateral trade balances in China’s favor. Meanwhile, Latin American manufacturers are suffering, and the region’s economies are becoming overly dependent on commodity exports. Strong chapters on Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela survey the disjointed reactions of local industries to the Chinese onslaught and detail how bureaucratic politics in each country have prevented Latin American governments from helping the private sector deal with the challenge. Paradoxically, the shared Sino-Latin preference for state-directed economies, despite suggesting ideological convergence, can generate clashes between competing economic nationalisms. All the more urgent, the editors persuasively argue, is the need for intraregional dialogues on industrial strategies, environmental strategies, and financial transparency.