China’s Quiet Move into South America
China is deepening its ties with South America, evidenced by its active participation in the “G77+China” summit held in Havana.
This event brought together representatives from over 100 countries to discuss global leadership dynamics and development goals.
The “G77+China” Summit in Havana
Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro emphasized a shared vision for a world led by developing nations at the summit.
The gathering saw robust participation, with representatives from nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Nicaragua expressing their visions for a new global order.
The Role and Origins of the G77
Founded in 1964, the G77 represents the interests of developing countries within the United Nations.
It serves as a platform for 80% of the global population, ensuring their perspectives aren’t overshadowed by the G7 and G20 nations.
China's Special Participation
Although China isn’t a formal member of the G77, its participation in this summit was significant.
This was especially notable given President Xi Jinping’s absence from the G20 summit in New Delhi and underscores China’s growing interest in South American affairs.
Li Xi, representing China, stressed the importance of unity among developing nations against unilateral actions that might hinder their growth.
He evoked a Chinese saying to underline solidarity: “When brothers are of the same mind, they can cut through metal with combined strength.”
Concluding Remarks from the Summit
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel emphasized the need for re-evaluating global rules.
This sentiment was echoed by various leaders, including Brazil’s Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva and Honduras’s Xiomara Castro, who recently shifted alliances from Taiwan to China.
Maduro's Visit to China
A day prior to the summit, Maduro made a notable visit to Beijing after a five-year gap.
Upon his arrival in Shenzhen, there was widespread speculation regarding Venezuela’s interests, with many pointing to the nation’s significant oil reserves.
China and Venezuela: A Strengthening Bond
China and Venezuela have been working closely, with China recently upgrading their relationship to an “all-weather strategic partnership”.
This indicates the increasing closeness of the two nations and China’s expanding influence in Latin America.
Future Endeavors and Collaborations
Following his visit, Maduro announced plans for Venezuelans to embark on space missions aboard Chinese spacecraft.
This collaboration is symbolic of the deepening cooperation between the two countries.
China's Broader Interest in the Region
Beyond oil and energy, China has shown interest in the vast resources of South America, including essential minerals pivotal for emerging technologies.
Recognizing the potential, China has secured mining contracts across the continent.
China’s activities in South America not only serve economic interests but also have geostrategic implications.
Plans for a military facility in Cuba underline China’s intention to establish a stronger foothold in the region.
Global Implications of China's Outreach
China’s approach towards South America contrasts with the US’s diminishing engagement in the region.
This shift, emphasizing China’s understanding of Latin America’s strategic importance, is set to redefine global power dynamics in the coming years.