LatAm and Caribbean countries are independent sovereign states, not US' backyard: Chinese embassy
Published: Aug 23, 2023 11:45 AM Updated: Aug 23, 2023 11:39 AM
General view of Costa Rica Photo: VCG

General view of Costa Rica Photo: VCG

Latin America and the Caribbean countries are independent sovereign states, not the US' backyard. Countries and people in the region have the wisdom and ability to choose partners that serve their own interests, the Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica said on Wednesday on its official WeChat account, strongly opposing the remarks by Laura Richardson, Commander of the US Southern Command during her visit to Costa Rica.

China is expanding its influence into Latin America and the Caribbean, and it could present increasingly greater threats to the US. [China's reach] is absolutely global and right under our nose and so close to our homeland, Richardson was cited on Friday by Stars and Stripes as saying.

"They are on the 20-yard line to our homeland," Richardson said, noting recent Chinese investments in the region on 5G cellular networks, deep-water ports and space-related infrastructure. She also noted that countries in the region are offered "almost a zero-cost upgrade to 5G."

In recent years, in order to deprive China of its right to development and to maintain US hegemony, the US has politicized, instrumentalized and ideologized economic, trade, and technological issues, smearing and attacking China without any factual basis, the Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica noted in its statement.

The US has nearly 800 military bases across 80 countries and regions around the world, and promoted the "Neo-Monroe Doctrine" and "color revolutions" to incite confrontation and create division around the world, and has used economic hegemony to engage in unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, while also abusing its scientific and technological hegemony to engage in indiscriminate surveillance and spying, said the embassy.

The US has imposed unilateral economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries, affecting nearly half of the world's population.

In comparison, China follows the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness.

"On the basis of respecting each other's needs and interests, China conducts practical cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries in various fields, including economic engagement, trade and other areas, and continues to add resilience and vitality to the global economy," the embassy said.

China is ready to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote China-Latin America relations featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development to better benefit the two peoples, which will not be disturbed or shaken by some noises and provocations, the embassy stressed.

Trade between China and Latin America has continued to expand, surpassing the $500 billion mark in 2022 and approaching $240 billion in the first half of 2023, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

Latin American countries ditch dollar, turn to yuan. Graphic:GT

Latin American countries ditch dollar, turn to yuan. Graphic:GT

In addition to traditional cooperation, China and Latin America have also released cooperation potential in green energy, electric vehicles, the digital economy, 5G communications among other areas. On financial engagement, China has put in place currency swap arrangements with Chile and Brazil.

Meanwhile, China-Latin America cooperation on satellites, polar exploration, deep space and aerospace is progressing on a path which benefits all parties.

At present, 22 Latin American countries have joined the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Global Times