China: Connecting the Americas?
China’s infrastructure objectives in Asia and Latin America are strikingly similar

China’s infrastructure objectives in Asia and Latin America are strikingly similar

26th April 2016

By Margaret Myers, director of the China and Latin America Program at the Washington, D.C. think tank The Inter-American Dialogue

Whether in Asia, through One Belt One Road (OBOR), or in Latin America, Chinese officials have made clear their interest in developing extensive, cross-regional transport infrastructure.
One Belt One Road, which includes the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, comprises major road, rail, and other infrastructure projects spanning Eurasia.
If built, these projects are expected to fill Asia’s infrastructure gap while improving China’s capacity for transnational operations, establishing foreign trade strongholds and production bases, and improving financial integration.
Latin America is not a stop on the “New Silk Road,” but China’s infrastructure objectives in Asia and Latin America are strikingly similar.
In addition to their decades-long focus on energy infrastructure in Latin America, Chinese officials have expressed interest in major networks of overland road and rail that will facilitate commercial engagement in South America, in particular.
According to China Railway Engineering Eryuan Corporation, a proposed Transcontinental Railway, running from the coast of Peru, through Bolivia and Brazil’s Mato Grosso, will reduce the amount of time it takes to ship grain from Brazil to China to less than 20 days. With feasibility studies already underway, portions of the rail project are expected to be …

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