Friday, February 19, 2010

China’s Arms Sales to Latin America


By: Cynthia Watson

Strengthening China’s military presence in Latin America is one of the many manifestations of Beijing’s increased activity on the international stage. Arms sales is a subset of the Chinese military's growing involvement in Latin America. Yet, Chinese arms sales represent a small portion of its military sales and Latin America's arms purchases from around the globe. In an arms buyer-seller relationship, the benefits of increased sales do not reside exclusively with the seller, which in this case is China. Latin American governments are also seeking to diversify their arms purchases to defend national interests, including achieving measures of autonomy beyond its relations with Washington—the predominant power in the region. While Beijing’s presence around the world is increasingly noteworthy, Latin America’s goal of establishing itself as a truly sovereign region is an equally important factor.  

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