[FoRK] Latin Americans Back Cuba, Venezuela on Terror

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Sat Nov 20 21:08:14 PST 2004


Its the Bushites abandoning the Monroe doctrine. Too modern for them by 
half.

If it isn't serfdom, we're not interested!!
Owen

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2004/11/20/2003211841

China set to extend its grip on Latin America

TRADING PARTNERS: With Beijing and Santiago planning talks on an FTA, 
economists suggested that Taiwan shift its focus to economic persuasion
By Ko Shu-ling
STAFF REPORTER , IN SANTIAGO, CHILE
Saturday, Nov 20, 2004,Page 10

"If Taiwan seeks to excel in trade-oriented economies, it's very 
important to separate business from politics."

Choong Yong Ahn, chairman of the APEC Economic Committee

China is beefing up efforts to extend its economic and political 
tentacles to Latin America and is set to start talks on a free trade 
agreement (FTA) with Chile during the weekend's leadership summit.

The two nations announced on Thursday night that they will formally 
start negotiations on a free trade pact. The talks were precipitated by 
Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) recent visit to Beijing's 
diplomatic allies Brazil and Argentina.

According to statistics released by Beijing, bilateral trade between 
China and Latin America grew by 50.4 percent to US$26.8 billion last 
year from 2002. China's exports increased 40 percent last year, while 
its imports from Latin America soared by 79.1 percent.

Trade between China and Brazil has increased 800 percent over the past 
10 years, and last year China became Brazil's third-largest trading 
partner, behind the US and Argentina. Beijing hopes to double its annual 
trade with Brazil to US$20 billion within three years.

China has become Argentina's fourth largest trading partner, with 
two-way trade reaching US$3.176 billion last year, up 122 percent from 
the year before, according to figures released by Beijing.

Chile in 1970 became the first South American nation to establish full 
diplomatic relations with China. Two-way trade between Chile and China 
reached US$3.529 billion last year, up 37.6 percent from the previous year.

In the wake of China's ambitious move to tap into Latin American 
economies, Taiwan hopes to engage in more FTA talks and thus secure 
firmer relations with its diplomatic allies in the region.

Central America is of significant diplomatic importance to Taiwan. Of 
the 33 countries in Latin America, 14 have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Taiwan signed its first FTA with Panama last August and expects to sign 
a second one with Guatemala, although the timetable for negotiations was 
disrupted when the Guatemalan government was reshuffled at the end of 
last year.

Negotiations with Paraguay to sign an FTA are on the horizon after 
Paraguay and Taiwan signed a joint communique in Taipei in May, 
promising to hold a bilateral economic cooperation conference in the 
Paraguayan capital of Asuncion to further boost trade and economic 
exchanges.

Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), president of the Taiwan Institute of Economic 
Research and a member of the nation's APEC delegation, said he was not 
really worried about China's aggressive ambition to expand its economic 
and political influence in Latin America.

While China is trying to gain broader economic control of the Latin 
American market, the US will continue to dominate the region, Wu said.

"The Chinese market looks big, but its GDP contributes only 3 percent of 
the world's total, while the US accounts for 20 percent. I don't see 
China becoming the dominant economic power in the region in the 
foreseeable future, because it has a lot of domestic problems to worry 
about and the communist regime might collapse one day if it doesn't 
handle its own problems well," Wu said.

Instead of battling with the political aspect, Taiwan might want to 
switch its focus to purely economic matters, Choong Yong Ahn (安忠榮), 
chairman of the APEC Economic Committee, told the /Taipei Times/ on 
Thursday.

"I can see the political barrier created by China. If Taiwan seeks to 
excel in trade-oriented economies, it's very important to separate 
business from politics," he said.

"I think it's possible to move in this direction and it's equally 
important that Taiwan continues to expand its economic strengths. I also 
believe that it's very possible for Taiwan to sign more FTAs with other 
countries if the negotiations are based purely on the economic and 
commercial aspects," he said.


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