Accepted paper:

How China is reshaping the global economy: a comparison of Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa


Rhys Jenkins (University of East Anglia)

Paper short abstract:

A comparative analysis of the economic, social and environmental impacts on Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America of China's re-emergence as a global economic power.

Paper long abstract:

China's rise has seen a significant growth in its relations with Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the start of the twenty-first century. At one level the economic relations of China with the two regions seem remarkably similar. They provide China with primary products and import Chinese manufactures. China has become an increasingly significant source of foreign direct investment (FDI) and loans. Chinese companies are involved in building infrastructure including roads, railways and power generation. The paper considers the similarities and differences between China's involvement in Latin America and SSA, in terms of both its key features and economic, social and environmental impacts. It provides a comparison of the scale and composition of bilateral trade, Chinese FDI, construction activities, and bank lending in the two regions. It argues that although Chinese interests in economic engagement in Latin America and SSA are broadly similar, there are significant economic, political and institutional differences between the two regions which lead to important differences in the impact that the increased presence of China has had. However it is also important not to lose sight of the heterogeneity that exists within each region.

panel H1
The political economy of development under the Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI)