WORLD ROUNDUPChina’s Presence in Latin America Has Expanded Dramatically | Demand for Uranium Is Booming. Who Is Benefiting? | Trump Will Abandon NATO, and more

Published 9 July 2024

·  China’s Presence in Latin America Has Expanded Dramatically
The region’s leaders are failing to consider the risks of growing dependence

·  Demand for Uranium Is Booming. Who Is Benefiting?
One Central Asian country stands out above the rest

·  Trump Will Abandon NATO
If reelected, he would end our commitment to the European alliance, reshaping the international order and hobbling American influence in the world

·  Stop Federal Grants from Strengthening China’s Military
New evidence shows that the Department of Defense is still collaborating with China on the development of critical technology

·  In China’s Shadow, Philippines and Japan Sign Groundbreaking Defense Pact
Agreement provides a framework for security operations including joint military drills and maritime patrols

China’s Presence in Latin America Has Expanded Dramatically  (Economist)
Its main breakwater is visible from a plane at 6,000 meters (20,000 feet), a hook jutting into the Pacific from Peru’s tawny coastal desert. In November, if all goes to plan, President Xi Jinping of China will inaugurate the vast new port at Chancay, 70km (44 miles) north of Lima on which Cosco, a Chinese company, and its local partner have so far spent $1.3bn.
Chancay typifies the footprint that China has stamped on Latin America in this century. Two-way trade has climbed from $18bn in 2002 to $450bn in 2022. While the United States remains the biggest trade partner for the region as a whole, China is now the biggest in South America—with Brazil, Chile, Peru and others. The Asian giant’s presence is not just economic. Its ambassadors are well versed in Latin America, and speak good Spanish and Portuguese. Its diplomatic staff has been expanding. The United States, by contrast, often leaves ambassadorial posts vacant because of political gridlock in Washington. Local officials, journalists and academics are offered free trips to China. During the pandemic China sent vaccines to Latin America much faster than did the United States or Europe.
This expansion alarms people like Marco Rubio, a Republican senator who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. He says the United States “can’t afford to let the Chinese Communist Party expand its influence and absorb Latin America and the Caribbean into its private political-economic bloc”. China is “on the 20-yard line to our homeland”, said General Laura Richardson, the head of the us Southern Command, earlier this year.

Demand for Uranium Is Booming. Who Is Benefiting?  (Economist)
The war in Ukraine exposed Europe’s dependency on Russian oil and gas. This has given a boost to nuclear advocates and increased the demand for uranium, the mineral used for nuclear fuel. Global uranium production is projected to reach over 75,000 tons by 2030, up from around 65,000 tons last year. Uranium prices have multiplied five-fold since 2016, heavily driven by China’s ballooning demand (though they have cooled a bit recently). (Cont.)