CSMS Magazine Staff Writer
With more than a trillion-dollar investment in the United States, China’s new capitalists are flexing their financial muscles, opening a new front in America heartland, going after sweet-fire sale deals in what is now becoming the biggest real estate crash in US history. While most US investors crippled by fear are keeping a distant eye on the real estate sector, China’s new elite has been seeing in one of the most glamorized venues of the land. Chaperoned by gleeful brokers desperate to find a fear-buster to reenergize fear-stricken investors, Chinese prospective buyers have been touring luxurious penthouse apartments in Manhattan, exclusive beach-front mansions in Palm Beach and ranch style houses in the Arizona desert. The Chinese are back. Only this time, it is not to be slave labors in illegal sweatshops around the country, but to be the rescuers of the eleventh hour.
Ever since China emerged as the new player in the world global economy, the Chinese leadership has been hard at work, filling in with its money and influence what was left empty by now impaired imperial powers, namely the US and Great Britain. A weak dollar and a strengthening Chinese yen render the Chinese hunt even more lucrative.
That is not all, China’s aim is to top or completely erase US hegemony in some strategic areas of the world where 10 years ago, it would have been unthinkable to witness such an assertive economic and diplomatic move now taking place against the backdrop of steep economic declines among the G-7 nations.
Last year, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Costa Rica, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru where China was warmly received during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last November. Back in 2006, the world came to know for the first time China’s new foreign policy initiative for Africa, and last year, it was Latin America’s turn. While in Africa, the aim is to beef up expansion of trade and investment in response for lucrative deals in resource-rich regions like Angola and in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Latin America, selling raw materials and its manufactured goods appears to be the main drive behind the aggressive policy, despite the fact the potential to ignite a new front in diplomatic rivalry in Sino-US relations is very much alive. But few believe that America now has the strength to withhold it preeminence in Latin America—an influence already being eroded by Europe and Russia. (Russian Strategic Bombers in Venezuelan Territory while instability grows in Eurasia )
With the US, Japan and Europe either now in entrenched recession, Latin America’s traditional players headed by center-left governments see China as their best chance for trade expansion to their commodities-based economies. According to the Economist, China may account for half of the global growth next year.
However, China’s trade with the region still falls behind the US ($560 billion) and the EU ($250 billion). According to the Economist, China’s trade with Latin America reached $150 billion last year. It is still, though, a dramatic jump from what it was 8 years ago ($13 billion), making it the region’s third largest trading partner.
As China’s nouveaux riches are making their newfound wealth felt in America, their leadership is hard at work making sure the capitalist road paved by the late Deng Xiaoping in 1976 soon after the death of Mao not only take roots in the Chinese hinterland, but also expand beyond the borders of China. One wonders: Is the red flag in China still red?
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is the chief editor for CSMS Magazine and the executive director of the Center For Strategic And Multicultural Studies. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at Nova Southeastern University. He is a novelist and the author of several essays on multiculturalism and Caribbean politics. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Also see Russia-Belarus pact: a move to strengthen their strategic deterrence