China & Latin America, 1571-2012: From the Manila Galleon to the New Pacific Triangle
8 August 2012
The current important relationship between China and Latin America is new, but not unprecedented.
Between 1571 and 2012, China and Latin America had a shifting relationship which reflected their changing positions in the world economy: From Latin America's role as precious metal exporter to a China that was at the center of the world's pre-industrial economy during the 1571-1800 colonial era, through a 19th and early 20th century when China provided contract labor for Latin America's export sector and both were peripheral commodity exporters to a global industrial order centered on Europe and then the United States, to a 21st century in which Latin America is emerging as a key commodity exporter to a China that is once again at the center of the global economy, but now as the world's leading industrial power. As China becomes the leading trading partner of important Latin American countries like Brazil and Chile and creates strategic relationships with them, it challenges US hegemony in the region, creating a new China-Latin America-U.S. Triangle whose shifting dynamic will shape the complex relations among its nations during the decades to come.
Peter Winn was educated at Columbia and Cambridge and has taught at Princeton and Yale. He is currently Professor of Latin American and Global History at Tufts University in Boston.Winn has also been a Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, where he co-directed an international conference on "China, Latin America and the United States: The New Pacific Triangle?"
Dr. Winn is the author of several acclaimed books on Latin America, including Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean (now in its 3rd edition), written as the companion volume to the PBS teleseries, Americas, for which he served as Academic Director. He has published in major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, and been interviewed for television and radio on five continents.
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