chapter  30
17 Pages

Beyond triangulation

Latin America and the Caribbean’s relations with China and India in the era of the Belt and Road Initiative
WithAdriana Erthal Abdenur

The recent literature on rising powers has examined the intensification of their trans-regional relations, whether through multilateral arrangements such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) or through bilateral ties. Scholars have attempted to tease out the differences and similarities in the drivers, dynamics, and impacts of these different cooperation streams, as well as how they are shaped by broader geopolitical dynamics. This chapter analyzes the relations between the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region and China and India, respectively, from a comparative perspective. How have LAC actors, both state and non-state, behaved toward these Asian actors? From the Asian side, do China and India compete for influence in Latin America? How and to what extent, are these ties shaped by the fast-changing geopolitical context in LAC and Asia? The analysis focuses on the period 2009–2019 and draws on official documents and statistics. The main finding is that, for the most part, these two Asian powers do not directly compete for influence in the region and that the geographic overlap in their cooperation has increased. In addition, far from operating in a vacuum, China and India’s relations with LAC are shaped by global and regional dynamics that promote a number of divergences, especially in light of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and changing relations with the United States.