Is China Trying to Expand its Military Influence in Latin America?
According to a report by Autumn Spredemann, the Chinese are quickly expanding military and espionage programs throughout Latin America. Back in June, in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in Argentina’s southernmost tip, Governor Gustavo Melella approved a “multi-purpose” Chinese-operated port facility via decree 3312/22. According to Spredemann, “the country currently houses a Chinese military-run facility operating in the remote Neuquén Province.”
The Argentine national government and the undersecretary of ports, waterways, and merchant marine must still approve of this project. Shaanxi Chemical Industry Group, a company connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is involved in constructing the port facility. Although the project is civilian at face value, all Chinese-owned assets of strategic importance could be used to advance Chinese geopolitical interests.
China has additionally rolled out a Project 141 initiative, which is part of a broader Chinese regime plan to expand its global military and logistical support network. One of these projects consists of a joint China–Cuba espionage facility being created close to the capital of Havana. The Biden regime subsequently confirmed the existence of a Chinese espionage facility operating in Havana since 2019.
Indeed, China is making inroads in Latin America. It’s actually quite logical why it’s trying to expand its influence in this region of the world. With the US trying to contain China in its own backyard through increased economic pressure and deployment of US assets in the Asia-Pacific region, the Chinese have responded in kind by slowly gaining influence in Latin America.
The US should recognize that it is no longer the unipolar bully that it once was in the 1990s. There are now an increasing number of actors on the world stage who are making their own geopolitical assertions.
The US must be willing to recognize these actors and respect their interests. If not, the US could be staring down the barrel of otherwise preventable geopolitical disasters.