Will the Pandemic Change China’s Role in the Region?
Zhen Pan, associate attorney at Diaz Reus: “As many parts of the world have shut down to contain the spread of coronavirus, China is one of few countries able to provide medical supplies to cope with the crisis, thanks to the recent restart of Chinese manufacturers. Since late March, both Chinese government and conglomerate companies, such as Alibaba and Huawei, have been donating much-needed medical equipment to assist countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with their immediate responses to the local outbreaks. The aid reflects China’s commitment to cooperate with LAC to deal with health emergencies, pursuant to a joint action plan made in 2018. China, given its growing influence in the region during the past decade, has become one of the largest trading partners with LAC and the top importer of products from Brazil, Peru, Uruguay and Chile. The medical assistance China is currently providing would help deepen ties beyond strong trade, particularly at a moment when the United States holds back its help to the region, as it is struggling with its own battle to contain the virus. “