Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

China’s Long March into Latin America


A $16 billion oil deal between China and Venezuela signed this week illustrates Beijing’s growing economic might and political influence in Latin America.

Trade between the region and China has swelled from $10 billion in 2000 to more than $102 billion in 2008.

Latin American leaders — not just leftists like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez but also moderates such as Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — have beaten a path to Beijing and Chinese officials are frequent visitors in return.

China is gobbling up Latin American commodities from soy to iron ore and at the same time eyeing a market of 500 million people while growth in its traditional trade partners remains flat.