The Inter-American Dialogue’s China and Latin America 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. Coverage generally highlights economic opportunities in the region, high-level visits, as well as security and other challenges in certain Latin American nations.
March coverage of Latin America focused primarily on economic news. The South China Morning Post (SCMP), Hong Kong’s leading English-language paper, noted that China’s share of Latin American trade is projected to exceed that of the European Union in just two years’ time. Among China’s primary commercial partners in the region is Chile, where newly inaugurated president Michele Bachelet recently met with Chinese Minister of Transportation Yang Chuantang to pledge continued cooperation (智利当选总统巴切莱特在国会宣誓就职). SCMP also observed that Florida has become a major gateway for Chinese investors seeking to access Latin American markets.
Argentina’s political and economic challenges also made Chinese headlines in March. Media highlighted the country’s ongoing teachers’ strike (阿根廷公立学校教师大规模罢课 350万学生无课可上), increasing hoarding of harvests by soybean farmers (阿根廷大豆将迎创纪录丰收为何仍囤积), and increases in the government’s fiscal shortfall this year (阿根廷政府调整公共财政补贴政策).
Chinese news also noted vulnerabilities in other major Latin American economies. Caixin reported on Brazil’s classification as one of the “fragile five” economies, noting the country’s sluggish growth rate and mounting fiscal problems (金砖与灵猫为何沦为脆弱五国？). A Southern Media Group paper weighed reform efforts in Mexico (拯救墨西哥高富帅的改革梦) and news digest Cankao Xiaoxi featured a story on Venezuela’s de facto devaluation under the SICAD II system (西报：委内瑞拉推“第三汇率”为何致本币暴跌). Huanqiu, a strongly pro-PRC outlet, speculated that declining oil production in Venezuela could disrupt supply to Caribbean nations under the Petrocaribe arrangement (委内瑞拉石油供应紧缩加勒比国家转向新能源).