The United States has recently announced a “pivot” or “rebalance” of its foreign policy away from the Middle East and towards Asia. The focus on Asia is in large part due to the rise of China during the last decade. However, it is no secret that the impact of China’s rise is not limited to the Asian region. Moreover, China’s rise is due in large part to its aggressive economic engagement with other regions, notably Africa and Latin America.
Given Latin America’s proximity to the United States and each nation’s shared responsibility for regional stability, the United States must not overlook the effects of China’s rise in the Western Hemisphere. Indeed some countries such as Chile and Brazil continue to thrive with the opportunities brought on by increased Chinese engagement. However, other countries such as Venezuela and Argentina struggle with turning Chinese engagement into national benefit.
This paper will identify some of the causes of these struggles and how they affect the stability of the Western Hemisphere and ultimately the national security of the United States. Additionally, this paper will identify some future areas of concern as well as methods by which the United States can best engage Latin American nations. The author aims to demonstrate why the United States must further develop its relationship with its Latin American neighbors in order to address national security implications resulting from China’s expanding influence in the Western Hemisphere.
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