Tags: China's | Growing | Penetration | Latin | America

China's Growing Penetration of Latin America

Thursday, 17 May 2001 12:00 AM

NewsMax.com has already reported Beijing’s penetration of the Western hemisphere, where Chinese companies, operated by the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) intelligence wing but pretending to be private corporations, have established their presence in California and in the Bahamas and other areas, and now control both ends of the Panama Canal.

NewsMax.com has also reported extensively about the Chinese Communists’ intentions to establish control over in Latin America’s natural resources, especially over oil supplies that are vital to the U.S.

In April the Chinese took another step in establishing themselves as an influential presence south of our borders. During a two week period when U.S. attention was focused on the EP3 plane incident, Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited six nations in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Cuba and Venezuela, where he was warmly welcomed by the local authorities. Jiang said little about the diplomatic dispute over the April 1 collision of an U.S. Navy patrol plane with a Chinese fighter jet, but was actively involved in advancing Red China’s interests in the area.

The Chinese president received an especially hearty welcome in Venezuela. "It’s a glorious day for Venezuela,” a beaming Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told Jiang. "We welcome not only the man, but we welcome the idea of sovereignty, the idea of justice, the idea of liberty, the idea of peace, the idea of self-determination of peoples.”

Chavez, a close ally of Castro, said he "strongly supports China’s position on defending self-determination and sovereignty.”

This is something of a bizarre welcome for the leader of a country that remains among the least free nations in the world and is controlled by a cruel and ruthless regime of Communists who are not above jailing people merely for attempting to create an independent political party.

This man Chavez so admires heads a regime that tortures priests and ministers who try to spread Christianity, rips babies out of the wombs of women who have gotten pregnant without official permission, and only during last few weeks has imprisoned four ethnic Chinese with ties to the U.S. who were charged with spying.

Chavez also shares Red China’s antipathy toward foreign criticism of human rights records. And it is no surprise that he recently bristled at a State Department report citing extra-judicial killing by Venezuelan police. He responded by reading an Amnesty International report on U.S. rights abuses on national television.

According to press reports, Chavez is a proclaimed admirer of the late Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse tung, the tyrant who boasted he had ordered tens of millions of his fellow Chinese murdered, and shares Beijing view that a world order dominated by the U.S. is unacceptable. Such are the friends the Chinese Communists have in some Latin American nations.

It is no surprise, that Jiang’s visit to Latin America was successful, especially in the area of investments and influence in the region. With Venezuela alone Jiang signed a multimillion-dollar agreement on energy, taxation, mining and agriculture. Red China will invest in a $60 million tractor factory and another plant to produce a tar-based fuel, and would provide farming expertise in exchange for imports of the fuel.

But the surprising news came when leaders of Red China and Venezuela discussed in great detail the idea of the beginning of military cooperation between Beijing and Caracas, particularly of jointly manufacturing Chinese K-8 and Y-12 military training and cargo airplanes in Venezuela. They also tried to find ways to increase Chinese investments in Venezuelan infrastructure, which last year reached $530 million.

It could be considered a coincidence, but a few days after Jiang’s visit to Caracas Venezuelan authorities announced Chavez’ trip to Moscow, Red China’s real strategic partner. According to press reports, in Moscow the Venezuelan president will sign tax and investment accords as well as an agreement for military cooperation including exchange data on military technology.

Currently Chavez is on his three-week trip to Russia and some Asian countries, where he is looking for investments and cooperation, including obtaining military and weapons supplies for Venezuela. Most of the countries Chavez is visiting, especially Russia, Iran and China, share his view that a new world order is needed to reduce the dominance of the U.S.

As Venezuelan Defense Minister Jose Vicente Rangel said on April 23, the military accord would consist of a commitment to exchange scientific and technical information about military equipment but will not involve purchase of Russian arms. He also denied suggestions in the media that his government was seeking a military alliance with Moscow.

Of course, Venezuelan authorities led by a leftist paratrooper-turned president who has shifted his country away from close alliance with the U.S. towards a broader range of ties with such nations like Cuba, China and Russia, do not need direct arms sales from Moscow. Because if Venezuela has Chinese cooperation it will automatically get Russian-made weapons from Beijing.

Jiang arrived in Venezuela after a visit to Castro’s Cuba, where he agreed to provide nearly $400 million in new credits and direct aid to Cuban Communists. As the press has noted, Castro’s regime has looked to Red China for guidance since the collapse of the Soviet Union, once its principal trading partner.

There is no doubt, that without appropriate reaction from Washington, development of ties between Chinese Communists and Latin American countries will produce new problems for the US in the near future. By exploiting the anti-U.S. sentiments of some Latin American leaders, Beijing could advance its policies in the region and establish its control over areas and infrastructures which are vital to the National Security of this country.

Mainly thanks to the extremely profitable trade with America (officially last year the U.S. trade deficit with China has been about $83.3 billion), Beijing is provided with billions of dollars to finance Chinese Communist penetration of America’s southern neighbors. Only last year Chinese-Latin American trade was nearly $10 billion, but after Jiang visit’s to the region this amount can be expected to grow dramatically.

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NewsMax.com has already reported Beijing's penetration of the Western hemisphere, where Chinese companies, operated by the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) intelligence wing but pretending to be private corporations, have established their presence in California and in the...
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Thursday, 17 May 2001 12:00 AM
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