This past week, President Xi Jingping opened the 22nd APEC summit in Beijing, hoping to “inject new vitality into Asia-Pacific development,” according to an APEC news release.
Monumental deals have been discussed as the event has unfolded in the past week. Some of the world’s largest leaders, the United States and China, have hacked out plans to work together on implementing new policies to reduce pollution. With growing unrest in China over smothering air pollution problems and environmentalist groups breathing down Obama’s neck, the world was still surprised at the momentous pact that “almost wasn’t,” according to Politico.
As Xi’s interests expand far beyond the United States, he relentlessly makes an effort to gain a developmental foothold in Latin America.
Wednesday of this past week, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala moved forward with a memorandum signing off further trilateral relations with China and Brasil.
At the summit, trilateral relations between the three countries were discussed, but in specific, the constructing of a transcontinental railway between Peru and Brasil. This railway would be sponsored and funded by Chinese enterprises.
Peru already has a completed transoceanic highway within the country; the development of a new transcontinental railroad is a bit curious. The 3,400 mile transoceanic highway from Peru to Brasil opened up trade and new markets between the two countries, but at great environmental costs as the building of the highway passed through the Peruvian and Brasilian Amazonian region, angering environmentalists and indigenous groups.
The Chinese sponsored railway proposal would serve the purpose of commodity based freight trains, opening the two markets up to each other, but also integrating the Chinese market into the mix.
“It’s similar to what China is doing in Africa,” he said. “Helping to improve the infrastructure of the domestic economies in Latin America increases the potential market for goods and services coming out of China,” according to China Daily.
Almost 21 times the figure from 2000, in the last year, trade between China and Latin America reached $261 billion.
Former Chinese ambassador to Brasil and Argentina, Shen Yun’ao, expressed the relevance and importance of Latin America and its raw natural resources; ore, grain and meat. The construction of the proposed 1,630 km railway train will make the flow of these goods more efficient.
“Brazilian officials have long expressed their wish to see Chinese rail companies get more involved in the nation’s infrastructure program, highlighting the competitiveness and experience of China, home of the world’s largest rail network,” China Daily.