China Fully Engaged in Latin America: What Is the U.S. Plan?

International & National Security Law Practice Group Teleforum

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) global ambitions have involved more than seventy countries. For the United States, these BRI developments and independent influence operations in South America raise security and strategy concerns. In the region south of Mexico and related seas, China is reportedly participating in more than two dozen deep-water port expansion and building projects. The PRC’s deepening relationship with Panama’s government has raised alarm, but China is also engaging with Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, and Venezuela. China’s People’s Liberation Army operates a space station from the south of Argentina. Is China exporting digital authoritarianism through surveillance architecture, as seen most recently with the Fatherland Identity Card in Venezuela? Are there long-term implications for the ability of Latin American countries to make autonomous sovereign decisions, and for longevity of U.S. relationships in the region?


  • Dr. Evan Ellis, Latin America Research Professor, U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute
  • Ryan Berg, Senior Fellow, Americas Program; Head of the Future of Venezuela Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Erick A. Brimen, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Honduras Próspera
  • Moderator: Julian Ku, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty Director of International Programs, and Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.