Wed, May 20, 2015 - Page 7 News List

China’s Li to start South American visit in Brasilia


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) was to accelerate plans for an ambitious railway linking Brazil’s Atlantic coast with a Pacific port in Peru, and announce billions in other investments and trade deals, during a visit to Brasilia scheduled for yesterday.

The Brazil stop is to be his first on a South American tour that includes Chile, Peru and Colombia. It comes as the continent feels the pinch of lessening Chinese demand for its commodities.

“We’re moving into a different era, because China’s economy is transforming to being consumer-based and it’s slowing down, so commodity prices are going down,” said Kevin Gallagher, professor of international relations at Boston University with expertise in China’s ties to Latin America. “Chinese trade and investment was Latin America’s best friend for a decade, and now everybody is in a panic.”

China is the top trading partner for Latin America and the Caribbean, with US$112 billion in exports sent to China in 2013, he said.

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