Chinese Mining Activity in Latin America

The Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to publish this report by Iacob Koch-Weser, analyst of economic and trade policy for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission and former researcher at Wharton and Harvard business schools. A product of the Dialogue’s China and Latin America program, this report is a first-ever, comprehensive overview of recent findings on Chinese mining activity in Latin America.

Koch-Weser offers an extensive review of the English, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese literature on Chinese overseas mining activity, highlighting a sub-set of issues especially relevant to policymakers. These include China’s effect on global commodity markets, the country’s outbound investment policies, and the much-debated impact of Chinese demand on resource-rich economies. Drawing on media reports and statistical databases, Koch-Weser also analyzes current industry trends, including developments in China’s metals trade, overseas mining activity, and Beijing’s take on environmental regulation. The report concludes with timely suggestions for further research on Chinese mining in the Americas.

The Dialogue’s aim in publishing this report, in addition to our China and Latin America working papers, is to inform and engage policy makers, civil society representatives, and academics from China, Latin America, and the United States on evolving themes in China-Latin America relations. We seek to determine areas of interest, identify shared priorities, and determine means by which emerging relationships can be made most productive for all countries involved.

Our China and Latin America Working Group, of which Koch-Weser is a member, has been a centerpiece of the Dialogue’s China-related programmatic efforts since it was launched in 2011. The group is made up of approximately thirty select policy makers, analysts, and scholars from Latin America, China, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Group meetings generate diverse interpretations of the issues driving China-Latin America relations to highlight opportunities for cooperation and address emerging challenges. Previous China program papers and reports have dealt with a wide variety of topics including Chinese state-to-state financing in Latin America, China’s free trade agreements in the region, energy-based engagement and cooperation, and the US-China-Latin America “triangular” dynamic.

We are pleased to recognize the Open Society Foundations and the Henry Luce Foundation for their ongoing support of the Dialogue’s work on China and Latin America.

The complete report is available for download below.

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