Mexico, China can be partners against US pressure

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/30 21:08:40

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard's official visit to China, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday, offers a chance to build closer economic ties between the two countries to counter US pressure.

After US President Donald Trump announced on May 30 his intention to impose tariffs on Mexico, a photo shared on Ebrard's Twitter account put the minister under the spotlight. In the picture, Ebrard can be seen in front of a big Huawei logo, triggering speculation among some netizens that the choice of background reflected Mexico's silent support for the Chinese telecom giant.

Huawei is in a critical period with the expansion of its business in Latin America, where the US has wide clout. Although Trump said on Saturday that US companies could sell equipment to Huawei, security concerns raised by the US have not been completely settled. 

It will be a fierce game whose results will decide whether Huawei can develop 5G networks in Latin America. Mexico is the target of pressure from the US, and that pressure is likely to continue. Hopefully Mexico can resist the pressure and provide fair treatment to Chinese companies.

Mexico's economy is highly dependent on the US. About 80 percent of Mexico's exports went to the US in 2018. Internal and external policies adopted by the Mexican government are to some extent constrained by an excessive dependence on the US economy. This may show why the US can use the threat of tariffs to get an immigration deal from Mexico. 

The US has too much influence over Mexico, and this has undermined Mexico's diplomatic and economic independence. 

It seems Mexico has realized that, because it's seeking to reduce dependence on the US economy by diversifying its export destinations. Ebrard was quoted by Reuters as saying ahead of his China visit that Mexico wants to deepen economic ties with China by increasing its exports and attracting more investment from the Asian country. 

China and Mexico share common ground in this regard. The Chinese side sincerely wants to make China a more important export destination and investment source for Mexico. China is now taking a stake in Mexico's infrastructure projects, but infrastructure investment alone is not enough for China to maintain a close relationship with Mexico. It is essential for China to further increase investment in Mexico and boost imports of the Latin country's fruit, drinks, coffee and electronic goods. China and Mexico can see each other as partners in development and in resisting US pressure and unilateralism.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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