Over the past year, increasing attention has focused on
China's growing interest in Latin America. Most analysts appear to agree that China's primary
interest in the region is to gain greater access to needed resources -- such as oil, copper, and iron --
through increased trade and investment. Some also believe Beijing's additional goal is to isolate
Taiwan by luring the 12 Latin American and Caribbean nations still maintaining diplomatic relations
with Taiwan to shift their diplomatic recognition to China. Some analysts maintain that China's
involvement in the region could pose a future threat to U.S. influence. Others assert that China's
inroads in Latin America are marginal and likely to remain overwhelmed by the economic and
geographic advantage of the U.S. market. Although many Latin American countries welcome the
new Chinese investment, some view China as an economic threat, and are concerned that both their
domestic industries and their U.S. export markets will be overwhelmed by cheap Chinese imports.
This report will not be updated. For further information, see CRS Report RL32804, China-U.S.
Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy.