Opinion

Commentary: China rising in Latin America, but won't overtake United States

Chinese couples dance at Latino's Bar in Beijing, China. China has opened the spigot to tens of billions of dollars in investment to nations such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.
Chinese couples dance at Latino's Bar in Beijing, China. China has opened the spigot to tens of billions of dollars in investment to nations such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. Natalie Behring / MCT

The latest figures showing that China is emerging from the global crisis sooner — and more vigorously — than anticipated is triggering speculation that China will soon overtake the United States as Latin America's top business partner. Sounds very interesting, but don't bet on it.

Granted, speculation about China's impending leap to becoming Latin America's top economic partner spread like wildfire recently when Brazil — Latin America's biggest country — announced that it will trade more with China than with the United States this year for the first time. By April, Brazil's two-way trade with China had reached $3.2 billion, compared with $2.8 billion with the United States, according to China's People's Daily.

And late last week, when China's National Bureau of Statistics announced a surprising rebound of the country's economy, many political commentators in Latin America saw it as new evidence of China's imminent supremacy in the region. According to the latest projections, China's economy is likely to grow by 8 percent this year, while the U.S. economy is likely to decline by 1.5 percent.

To read the complete column, visit miamiherald.com.

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