In 2018, a wave of presidential elections swept across Latin America, thrusting new regimes’ diplomatic and trade relations with China into the spotlight. After a stealthy touchdown in Panama in 2017, it was the year President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative finally landed in the region in earnest. Countries from Chile to Costa Rica inked deals under the banner of the infrastructure mega-project.
Despite a hectic electoral super-cycle, Diálogo Chino managed to reflect on flagship projects of years gone by. Relocated by a Chinese company six years ago, we returned to the Peruvian mining town of Morococha to find a simmering conflict. Meanwhile in Nicaragua, we examined the evolution of rural protests against the 173-mile Grand Canal as the government faced a national uprising.
We also focused on pressures on land use and the environment as exporters of Latin American agricultural products such as avocado and soy responded to booming demand from China. The 2018 G20 summit in Argentina – the first ever to be held in Latin America – presented a timely opportunity to assess leading economies’ progress in meeting longstanding climate targets. The region could aspire to replicate China’s success in promoting renewable energy, as our May special report found.
Diálogo Chino continued to present fresh perspectives on China, Latin America and the environment in 2018. Here’s a list of our top stories:
- Brazil elects Bolsonaro, champion of anti-China rhetoric
New Brazilian president-elect Bolsonaro has been vocal about his feelings towards China, so what does this mean for trade and investment?
Mining giant Chinalco relocated the Peruvian highland town of Morococha to a shiny new settlement with electricity and sanitation – but no economic future.
Argentina faces criticism as it fails to steer the G20 away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
As China’s Belt and Road Initiative finally incorporates Latin America and the Caribbean, Ricardo Barrios explores the costs and benefits.
Ecotourism could generate economic opportunities in rural Colombia, reinvigorating conflict-hit parts of the country and protecting its rich avian biodiversity.
AMLO’s win could mean a greener future for Mexico. He has pledged to reduce the countries carbon footprint but also to tap its sizeable oil reserves. Which will prevail?
Avocados are more prevalent in global diets than ever. Yet production is driving deforestation and starving producer countries of water.
Opponents of a Chinese businessman’s Grand Canal project face increasing intimidation after throwing their weight behind national anti-government protests.
Exploring China’s success in improving industrial energy efficiency and how emerging economies such as Brazil could follow suit.
The use of agrochemicals in soy cultivation is associated with severe damage to the health, environment, and economic opportunities of those living near plantations.