The Inter-American Dialogue’s China program is pleased to provide monthly reports on China’s media coverage of Latin America. Though still relatively limited, Chinese media reporting on Latin America has expanded in recent years. In January 2014, Chinese coverage focused principally on Mexico’s business outlook, incidents of violence and macroeconomic risk in certain Latin American countries.
Mexico featured in more Chinese headlines this month than any other Latin American nation. Coverage focused principally on the country’s economic prospects, and conveyed particular optimism over recent reforms to energy (墨西哥能源改革：牵一发而动全身) and other sectors (经合组织：墨西哥的改革将会带来超过4%的经济增幅). Another article added that the country leads emerging markets in levels of direct investment in the United States (墨西哥是在美国直接投资最多的发展中国家).
Business media highlighted the strong position of Mexico’s steel (墨西哥将发展可再生能源) and renewable energy (亚太议会论坛第22届年会在墨西哥闭幕) industries – two sectors of considerable interest to China’s overseas enterprises. One source warned, however, that Mexican government officials that the country would being to levy anti-dumping taxes against Chinese porcelain products (墨西哥对中国产陶瓷制品征收反倾销税).
Chinese news sources also focused on violence in Latin America with some frequency. In Mexico, this included a report on the January 12conflict between drug cartels and the national militia in the state of Michoacán (墨西哥民兵攻击毒枭控制城镇 枪战1个半小时). Other articles referenced the rising homicide rate in Venezuela (委内瑞拉去年发生两万起凶杀 成最危险国家之一), tensions over negotiations between Colombia’s government and the FARC (哥伦比亚防长指责反政府武装不遵守停火诺言), and the unrest in Brazil caused by rolezinhos, or flash mobs in affluent areas (巴西兴起贫民”快闪族” 到高档商场抗议迫使其关闭).
Finally, multiple stories noted the increasingly risky economic outlook for many Latin American countries. Currency woes in Brazil (拉美汇率危机蔓延 巴西率先加息应对) and Argentina (民调显示多数阿根廷人认为国家经济“误入歧途”) were featured, as exchange and inflation rates put growing pressure on the central banks in both countries. A different article expressed concern over copper and fruit exports from Chile, indicating that 14 of the country’s ports were crippled by labor strikes (智利罢工潮阻铜出口 铜业股有望爆发).
Photo Credit: Bandera de México/ Cristian Frausto Bernal/ CC BY-SA 2.0; Presidents of Argentina Cristina Fernandez and China Hu Jintao meet in Beijing/ presidencia.gov.ar/ CC BY-SA 2.0