China’s Influence in Latin America in the Brazilian Case (2002-2018)

Cover Page


In this paper the authors aim to establish the reasons that led the Chinese state to view Latin America as an important partner between 2002 and 2018 and try to analyse the development of Chinese presence in Latin America and its possible impacts and perspectives in the 21st century in Brazil. For that, both political and economic relations between China and Latin America’s countries, especially the relations between China and Brazil, and their development are examined by using a comparative and historical approach. This paper is divided in three sections. The first part characterizes the emergence of Asia as a prominent actor within the current world system and China’s participation as a major economic competitor from the 1980s. In the second section, the Chinese interest in Latin America and its importance is analysed. Finally, the influence of China in Brazil is exposed in the last section. In the conclusion, undoubtedly, the Asian country has a huge influence in areas where it conquers, especially in Latin America and Brazil, leading mainly investments and its products of both high technology and low cost. In the short term, countries that receive this type of investment see an increase in production and, consequently, an economic improvement due to the increase in the market and the consumption process. On the other hand, Latin American companies and industries do not have the technological capacity or, to a certain extent, a competitive advantage to compete with Chinese products in the long term, due to the stricter labour laws in American countries, compared to the Asian country. Hence, one of Brazil’s possible strategies for meeting the challenges of expanding relations with China is to invest in greater complementarity and structural integration of the region through MERCOSUR.

About the authors

Charles Pennaforte

Federal University of Pelotas

Pelotas, Brazil
PhD in International Relations, National University of La Plata (Argentina), Adjunct Professor, Federal University of Pelotas, Coordinator of the Research Group CNPq Geopolitics and Mercosur (GeoMercosur) and Laboratory of Geopolitics

Nairana Karkow Bones

Research Group CNPq “Geopolitics and Mercosur” (GeoMercosur) and Laboratory of Geopolitics

Pelotas, Brazil
MSc candidate, Federal University of Pelotas, Member of the Research Group CNPq Geopolitics and Mercosur (GeoMercosur) and Laboratory of Geopolitics


  1. Arrighi, G. (2007). Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Verso
  2. Bekerman, M., Dulcich, F. & Moncaut, N. (2013). Transformações recentes da economia chinesa: impacto sobre suas relações comerciais com a América Latina. Revista Tempo do Mundo, 5 (1), 5-43
  3. Benvenuto, L.M. (2018). A Nova Rota da Seda: conquistas e controvérsias. Encontro Nacional da Associação Brasileira de Estudos de Defesa. Rio de Janeiro. URL: anais/8/1535670696_ARQUIVO_artigoENABED2018.pdf (accessed: 18.04.2019)
  4. Bernal-Meza, R. (2019). China e América Latina. Revista Tempo Do Mundo, 2 (2), 63-78. URL: (accessed: 08.03.2020).
  5. Borzova, A., Agaev, U. & Torkunova, U. (2018). China-CELAC: New Trends in the Economic Cooperation. Latinskaia Amerika, 7, 32-46.
  6. Buelvas, E.P. & Pastrana, H.G. (Eds.). (2017). La proyección de China en América Latina y el Caribe. Bogotá: Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana / Fundación Konrad Adenauer.
  7. Cariello, T. (2019). Chinese Investments in Brazil (2018): the Brazilian Framework in a Global Perspective. China - Brazil Bussiness Council. URL: (accessed: 08.03.2020).
  8. Cintra, M.R. (2013). A presença da China na América Latina no Século XXI - suas estratégias e o impacto dessa relação para países e setores específicos. Dissertação. URL: (accessed: 18.04.2019)
  9. Guimarães, S.P. (2006). Desafios brasileiros na Era dos Gigantes. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto
  10. Hernandéz, J.C. (2018). Um nuevo norte en el sur: la cooperación china en América Latina y el Caribe? Revista de Seguridad de Estudios en Seguridad Internacional. URL: print/1408 (accessed: 08.03.2020)
  11. Hiratuka, C. & Sarti, F. (2016). Relações econômicas entre Brasil e China: análise dos fluxos de comércio e investimentos direto estrangeiro. Revista Tempo do Mundo, 2 (1), 84-98
  12. Holland, M. & Barbi, F. (2010). China na América Latina: uma análise da perspectiva dos investimentos diretos estrangeiros. Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) 1402
  13. Jaeger, B.C. (2017). Investimentos chineses em infraestrutura na América do Sul: impactos sobre a integração regional. Revista Conjuntura Austral, 8 (39-40), 4-23.
  14. Kissinger, H. (2011). On China. London: Penguin Press.
  15. Landim, R. (2009). Aço chinês toma lugar do brasileiro na AL. Valor Econômico. URL: (accessed: 08.03.2020).
  16. Lavut, A. (2019). The Impact of Chinese Expansion on the Environment of Latin American y Caribbean Countries. Latinskaia Amerika, 6, 5-17.
  17. Medeiros, C.A. & Cintra, M.R. (2015). Impacto da ascensão chinesa sobre os países latino-americanos. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 35 (1). doi: 10.1590/0101-31572015v35n01a02
  18. Molina Díaz, E. & Regalado Florido, E. (2017). China - Latin America and the Caribbean Relations: for a Better Future. Economía y Desarrollo, 158 (2), 105-116. URL: sci_arttext&pid=S0252-85842017000200007&lng=es&tlng=en. (accessed: 08.03.2020)
  19. Ókuneva, L.S. (2019). Brasil consolida su rumbo a la derecha. Iberoamerica, 4, 44-62. URL: (accessed: 07.03.2020).
  20. Oliveira, H.A. (2010). Brasil e China: uma nova aliança não escrita? Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 53 (2), 88-105. doi: 10.1590/S0034-73292010000200005
  21. Pinto, E.C. (2013). A dinâmica dos Recursos Naturais no Mercosur na década de 2000: “efeitos China”, estrutura produtiva, comércio e investimento estrangeiro. In: Albrieu, R., López, A. & Rozenwurcel, G. (Eds.). Los recursos naturales en la era de China: ¿una oportunidad para América Latina? Montevideo: Red MERCOSUR.
  22. Sayámov, Y.N. (2019). América Latina en la formación de un nuevo sistema de relaciones internacionales. Iberoamérica,1, 44-64.
  23. Stuenkel, O. (2015). The BRICS and Future of Global Order. Lanham: Lexington Book.
  24. Wallerstein, I. (2004). O declínio do poder Americano. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto.



Abstract - 947

PDF (English) - 292




Copyright (c) 2020 Pennaforte C., Bones N.K.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies