China Flexes Its Power in Latin America, Asia

Image: Antilong
Image: Antilong

Consider some recent news stories involving China:

Last month, Chinese president Xi Jinping visited left-leaning Brazil and various other Latin American nations, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports. Xi went to Brazil to ink trade agreements and to attend “a summit of the BRICS group of emerging powers—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—and South American presidents,” AFP reports. Xi ended his Latin American tour “with a symbolic visit to the barracks from which Fidel Castro launched the first armed assault of his communist revolution in 1953,” AFP reports elsewhere; Xi said, “China and Cuba, as fellow socialist countries, are closely linked by the same visions, ideals and goals.”

What is the standard Chinese view of the tour? We can get a hint from a story from the South China Morning Post: “Xi Jinping’s intense nine-day tour of Latin America last month yielded significant gains for Beijing’s strategy in the region and in the broader strategic arena vis-à-vis the United States. Moving beyond purely economic interactions, Beijing is content that Xi’s trip has reinforced political relationships that will ultimately temper American influence in the region and help counter the US rebalance policy.”

Meanwhile, David Axe claims for the the Week: “For the first time since China’s rapid ascent as a regional military power, officers in Beijing believe the Chinese army could invade Taiwan or attack a disputed island while also deterring intervention by U.S. Pacific Command.”

Elsewhere, the Week offers some evidence indicating that China’s relationship with North Korea may be “fraying”—so that at least may be some good news.

At home, as Cass Sunstein reported a few months ago (see my article for the Objective Standard), “recent curricular reforms in China, explicitly designed to transform students’ political views, have mostly worked”; the reforms were explicitly intended (in the words of a Chinese official) to “form in students a correct worldview, a correct view on life, and a correct value system.” Obviously, “correct” in this context means pro-socialist.

And all of this comes at a time when Barack Obama is deliberately weakening America’s standing in the world. Mission accomplished.