Dr. R. Evan Ellis is a professor of national security studies, modeling, gaming, and simulation with the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, with a research focus on Latin America’s relationships with external actors, including China, Russia, and Iran. holds a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in comparative politics. May 2012- The Inter-American Dialogue - “The United States, ¶ Latin America and China: ¶ A “Triangular Relationship”?” http://www.thedialogue.org/PublicationFiles/IAD8661_China_Triangular0424v2e-may.pdf
At the political level, US engagement with Latin American ¶ countries has impacted the ability of the PRC to develop ¶ military and other ties in the region. Although journalistic ¶ and academic accounts often suggest that the 19th century ¶ Monroe Doctrine continues to be pursued by contemporary ¶ US policymakers, with a presumed desire to “keep China out” ¶ of the region,26 official US policy has repeatedly met Chinese ¶ initiatives in the hemisphere with a cautiously welcoming tone.27 Nonetheless, Latin America’s own leadership has ¶ responded to Chinese initiatives with a view of how engagement with China could damage its relationship with the United ¶ States. Colombia’s close relationship with the United States, for ¶ example, made the military leadership of the country reluctant ¶ to procure major military items from the PRC.28¶ The same logic has also applied to countries such as ¶ Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, for whom embracing the ¶ PRC politically and economically signaled displeasure with ¶ the United States. The degree to which a “bad” relationship ¶ with the United States has propelled a “positive” relationship with Chinahas increasingly gone beyond symbolism. The desire of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to ¶ diversify away from Venezuelan dependence on the United ¶ States as the nation’s primary oil export market, for example, opened the door for massive loan-backed Chinese ¶ construction projects, the purchase of Chinese commercial goods and greatly expanded participation by Chinese ¶ oil companies.29 US refusal to sell F-16 fighter aircraft and ¶ components to Venezuela in 2006 prompted Venezuela to ¶ engage with China, and other countries, to procure military ¶ hardware. Similarly, Bolivia purchased Chinese K-8s after ¶ the United States blocked it from acquiring a comparable ¶ aircraft from the Czech Republic.30
China’s influence in Latin America is key to their soft power
Malik, 06 – PhD in International Relations (Mohan, "China's Growing Involvement in Latin America," 6/12, http://firstname.lastname@example.org)
China's forays into Latin America are part of its grand strategy to acquire "comprehensive national power" to become a "global great power that is second to none." Aiming to secure access to the continent's vast natural resources and markets, China is forging deep economic, political and military ties with most of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. There is more to China's Latin American activism than just fuel for an economic juggernaut. China now provides a major source of leverage against the United States for some Latin Americanand Caribbean countries. As in many other parts of the developing world, China is redrawing geopolitical alliances in ways that help propel China's rise as a global superpower. Beijing's courtship of Latin American countries to support its plan to subdue Taiwan and enlist them to join a countervailing coalition against U.S. global power under the rubric of strengthening economic interdependence and globalization has begun to attract attention in Washington. Nonetheless, Beijing's relations with the region are neither too cozy nor frictionless. For Latin America and the Caribbean countries, China is an enviable competitor and rival, potential investor, customer, economic partner, a great power friend and counterweight to the United States, and, above all, a global power, much like the United States, that needs to be handled with care. As in Asia and Africa, China is rapidly expanding its economic and diplomatic presence in Latin America -- a region the United States has long considered inside its sphere of influence. China's interest in Latin America is driven by its desire to secure reliable sources of energy and raw materials for its continued economic expansion, compete with Taiwan for diplomatic recognition, pursue defense and intelligence opportunities to define limits to U.S. power in its own backyard, and to showcase China's emergence as a truly global great power at par with the United States. In Latin America, China is viewed differently in different countries. Some Latin American countries see China's staggering economic development as a panacea or bonanza (Argentina, Peru, and Chile view China as an insatiable buyer of commodities and an engine of their economic growth); others see it as a threat (Mexico, Brazil, and the Central American republics fear losing jobs and investment); and a third group of countries consider China their ideological ally (Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela). While China's growing presence and interests have changed the regional dynamics, it still cannot replace the United States as a primary benefactor of Latin America. Chinese investment in the region is US$8 billion, compared with $300 billion by U.S. companies, and U.S.-Latin America trade is ten times greater than China-Latin America trade. Nonetheless, China is the new kid on the block that everyone wants to be friendly with, and Beijing cannot resist the temptation to exploit resentment of Washington's domineering presence in the region to its own advantage. For Washington, China's forays into the region have significant political, security and economic implications because Beijing's grand strategy has made Latin America and Africa a frontline in its pursuit of global influence. China's Grand Strategy: Placing Latin America in the Proper Context China's activities in Latin America are part and parcel of its long-term grand strategy. The key elements of Beijing's grand strategy can be identified as follows: Focus on "comprehensive national power" essential to achieving the status of a "global great power that is second to none" by 2049; Seek energy security and gain access to natural resources, raw materials and overseas markets to sustain China's economic expansion; Pursue the "three Ms": military build-up (including military presence along the vital sea lanes of communication and maritime chokepoints), multilateralism, and multipolarity so as to counter the containment of China's regional and global aspirations by the United States and its friends and allies; Build a network of Beijing's friends and allies through China's "soft power" and diplomatic charm offensive, trade and economic dependencies via closer economic integration (free trade agreements), and mutual security pacts, intelligence cooperation and arms sales.
Chinese international influence is an existential impact – it controls every scenario for extinction
Zhang 2012 (Prof of Diplomacy and IR at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. “The Rise of China’s Political Softpower” 9/4/12 http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2012-09/04/content_26421330.htm)
As China plays an increasingly significant role in the world, its soft power must be attractive both domestically as well as internationally. The world faces many difficulties, including widespread poverty, international conflict, the clash of civilizations and environmental protection. Thus far, the Western model has not been able to decisively address these issues; the China model therefore brings hope that we can make progress in conquering these dilemmas. Poverty and development The Western-dominated global economic order has worsened poverty in developing countries. Per-capita consumption of resources in developed countries is 32 times as large as that in developing countries. Almost half of the population in the world still lives in poverty. Western countries nevertheless still are striving to consolidate their wealth using any and all necessary means. In contrast, China forged a new path of development for its citizens in spite of this unfair international order which enabled it to virtually eliminate extreme poverty at home. This extensive experiencewould indeed be helpful in the fight against global poverty. War and peace In the past few years, the American model of "exporting democracy'" has produced a more turbulent world, as the increased risk of terrorism threatens global security. In contrast, China insists that "harmony is most precious". It is more practical, the Chinese system argues, to strengthen international cooperation while addressing both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism. The clash of civilizations Conflict between Western countries and the Islamic world is intensifying. "In a world, which is diversified and where multiple civilizations coexist, the obligation of Western countries is to protect their own benefits yet promote benefits of other nations," wrote Harvard University professor Samuel P. Huntington in his seminal 1993 essay "The Clash of Civilizations?". China strives for "being harmonious yet remaining different", which means to respect other nations, and learn from each other. This philosophy is, in fact, wiser thanthat of Huntington, and it's also the reason why few religious conflicts have broken out in China. China's stance in regards to reconciling cultural conflicts, therefore, is more preferable than its "self-centered" Western counterargument. Environmental protection Poorer countries and their people are the most obvious victims of global warming, yet they are the least responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases. Although Europeans and Americans have a strong awareness of environmental protection, it is still hard to change their extravagant lifestyles. Chinese environmental protection standards are not yet ideal, but some effective environmental ideas can be extracted from the China model. Perfecting the China model The China model is still being perfected, but its unique influence in dealing with the above four issues grows as China becomes stronger. China's experiences in eliminating poverty, prioritizing modernization while maintaining traditional values, and creating core values for its citizens demonstrate our insight and sense of human consciousness. Indeed, the success of the China model has not only brought about China's rise, but also a new trend that can't be explained by Western theory. In essence, the rise of China is the rise of China's political soft power, which has significantly helped China deal with challenges, assist developing countries in reducing poverty, and manage global issues. As the China model improves, it will continue to surprise the world.