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U.S. Navy Commander: China is Taking Advantage of Corruption in Latin American Countries

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China has dramatically increased its investment and trading activities in Latin American countries in recent years, happening at a time when the U.S. is being criticized for under-investing in the said countries.

In addition, regional experts and lawmakers from the U.S. have called on the U.S. president to reverse the worrying trend by increasing investment and attention in Latin America. They noted that increasing attention towards Latin America would safeguard U.S. interests and neutralize China’s growing influence in the region.

A U.S Navy commander, Adm. Faller, noted that China’s activities and growing influence in the Western Hemisphere pose a security threat to the United States. He is set to retire this year after heading the U.S. Navy Southern Command.

During his tenure as the navy commander in the region, he took a keen interest in China’s activities in Latin America. As a result, he has been monitoring the region for three years and agreed to discuss his observations with China Watcher.

In his assessment, Adm. Faller noted that Chinese activities in the region pose military, economic, and diplomatic threats to the United States. He added that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) activities and influence in the Western Hemisphere are growing fast.

PRC has invested in space assets, IT infrastructure, cultural centers, among other sectors. They have also offered COVID assistance to Latin American countries. In some countries, the Chinese have offered military training, security cooperation packages, and scholarships.  

PRC assistance to Latin America has exceeded the one provided by Western countries such as the United States. However, Adm. Faller noted that the Chinese private and state-owned businesses exploit the pervasive corruption in Latin American countries.

According to him, Chinese corporations have been bribing the authorities in Latin American countries to bypass environmental compliance and contracting practices. Moreover, Chinese corporate leaders have been offering lucrative pay-offs to the government officials in those countries and, in return, get favorable deals.

Aside from this, the commander noted that the Latin American countries need help from other countries as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and China is playing a significant role in helping these countries.

However, it also seems like foul play was involved, with China not following the customary international laws and rules of the game. Instead, it is creating dependencies rather than developing trusted partnerships.

Additionally, China is seeking to benefit from this opportunity by increasing its support base for the sake of the United Nations vote. Similarly, the strength of the United States is based on its cooperation and partnerships with its allies and partners.

The U.S. promotes democracy, respect for human rights, and accountable governance when engaging with other countries. According to him, China knows this and is seeking an alternative strategy.

China wants to create a situation where countries will choose between the East and the West, depending on the conditions issued by each side. China even recognizes authoritarian regimes as legitimate. As a result, it is supporting governments that do not respect human rights.

China is more concerned about the economic benefits from the region than the governance system and respect for human rights. The end game is to increase its power and influence worldwide to counter the United States’ influence.  

U.S. Navy Commander: China is Taking Advantage of Corruption in Latin American Countries

China has dramatically increased its investment and trading activities in Latin American countries in recent years, happening at a time when the U.S. is being criticized for under-investing in the said countries.

In addition, regional experts and lawmakers from the U.S. have called on the U.S. president to reverse the worrying trend by increasing investment and attention in Latin America. They noted that increasing attention towards Latin America would safeguard U.S. interests and neutralize China’s growing influence in the region.

A U.S Navy commander, Adm. Faller, noted that China’s activities and growing influence in the Western Hemisphere pose a security threat to the United States. He is set to retire this year after heading the U.S. Navy Southern Command.

During his tenure as the navy commander in the region, he took a keen interest in China’s activities in Latin America. As a result, he has been monitoring the region for three years and agreed to discuss his observations with China Watcher.

In his assessment, Adm. Faller noted that Chinese activities in the region pose military, economic, and diplomatic threats to the United States. He added that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) activities and influence in the Western Hemisphere are growing fast.

PRC has invested in space assets, IT infrastructure, cultural centers, among other sectors. They have also offered COVID assistance to Latin American countries. In some countries, the Chinese have offered military training, security cooperation packages, and scholarships.  

PRC assistance to Latin America has exceeded the one provided by Western countries such as the United States. However, Adm. Faller noted that the Chinese private and state-owned businesses exploit the pervasive corruption in Latin American countries.

According to him, Chinese corporations have been bribing the authorities in Latin American countries to bypass environmental compliance and contracting practices. Moreover, Chinese corporate leaders have been offering lucrative pay-offs to the government officials in those countries and, in return, get favorable deals.

Aside from this, the commander noted that the Latin American countries need help from other countries as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and China is playing a significant role in helping these countries.

However, it also seems like foul play was involved, with China not following the customary international laws and rules of the game. Instead, it is creating dependencies rather than developing trusted partnerships.

Additionally, China is seeking to benefit from this opportunity by increasing its support base for the sake of the United Nations vote. Similarly, the strength of the United States is based on its cooperation and partnerships with its allies and partners.

The U.S. promotes democracy, respect for human rights, and accountable governance when engaging with other countries. According to him, China knows this and is seeking an alternative strategy.

China wants to create a situation where countries will choose between the East and the West, depending on the conditions issued by each side. China even recognizes authoritarian regimes as legitimate. As a result, it is supporting governments that do not respect human rights.

China is more concerned about the economic benefits from the region than the governance system and respect for human rights. The end game is to increase its power and influence worldwide to counter the United States’ influence.  

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