In whose backyard? China and Latin America in the imperialist chain

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This paper critically analyses the political economy of the US-China rivalry in Latin America, China’s penetration into the region since the early 2000s, and Washington’s response. It argues that a new form of Cold War rivalry is brewing in an increasingly multi-polar world: one that is shaping geopolitics, trade, and security arrangements, as well as potential conflicts in a ‘transitional’ process of ‘21st century imperialism’ for control and influence, where the US still dominates but where China is favourably placed. As Latin American leaders have welcomed ‘outsiders’ into America’s ‘backyard’, a consistent pattern of Chinese investment and construction has followed. While economic development and aid from China was secured, it was believed that greater regional integration and independence from US imperialism would also follow. The question remains whether fostering a relationship with China has meant greater independence from imperialism, or whether it has led merely to its regional transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-414
Number of pages16
JournalCritique: a journal of socialist theory
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024

Grant Number

  • China
  • USA
  • Latin America
  • Imperialism
  • Rivalry


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