Executive Intelligence Review


Ibero-American Diplomats in China Rebuff Tillerson’s Claim that Beijing Is ‘Imperial Power’

Feb. 7, 2018 (EIRNS)—Several Ibero-American ambassadors and other diplomats currently posted to China have rejected U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s Feb. 2 geopolitical assertion that Chinese involvement in Ibero-America constitutes a new kind of “imperial power.” The Secretary visited five countries Ibero-America and the Caribbean over Feb. 1-7.

Spain’s EFE news agency today reports remarks by Argentina’s Ambassador to China Diego Guelar, that

“the era of imperialisms is dead. There’s a very clear multipolar equation in the world and that’s good ... today, China plays a very important role with all Latin American nations, in terms of trade, financing and investment.”

Moreover, the fact that Argentina has a very balanced relationship with both Russia and China, “should in no way alter our good relations with the U.S.,” he stated. A variety of Chinese firms are present in Argentina and growing, he reported, and this trend won’t be reversed. “We have nothing to fear, as these are very respectful relations in the field of national sovereignty, with clear advantages for both sides.”

In a similar tone, EFE reported, Colombia’s Ambassador to China Oscar Rueda stated that his government’s relations with Beijing exist “in a framework of friendship and common benefit. Only countries themselves can characterize the relations between two countries.” He pointed out that China is one of Colombia’s main trading partners, and the plan is to continue to open up markets there and export new products, such as avocados and beef.

Cásar Suárez, Chile’s trade director in Shanghai, explained to EFE that when Chile signed its free-trade agreement with China in 2006, critics made warnings similar to Tillerson’s—that local production would be harmed, there would be long-term negative effects, and so on. But instead, what happened is that “we ended up with a surplus,” said Suárez. Trade has quadrupled since 2006, he said. “The lines of trade and integration with China are very strong, and we see them as positive, just as we view relations with the U.S.”

Uruguay’s Consul General in Shanghai Leonardo Olivera similarly pointed out that there’s no contradiction in having good relations with both the United States and China, the world’s largest economic powers. China and Uruguay have just celebrated their 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations he said, and that 28% of his country’s exports now go to China.