Because of its rapid and sustained economic growth, China has become an important centerpiece for understanding contemporary geo-economics and geopolitics. This article argues that examining China’s relationship with Ecuador–one of the smallest countries in South America–helps to explain the extent to which Chinese businesses are attempting to geographically diversify their investments as a strategy for securing long-term energy supplies and developing new and more lucrative markets in the region. This paper focuses on recent Chinese-Ecuadorian infrastructure and trade discussions in light of shifting hemispheric geopolitics and engages a set of broader questions about development in South America. These questions are: 1) What can Chinese trade with Ecuador tell us about China’s economic expansion into South America? and 2) How has Ecuador responded to China’s political and economic in-roads in the region? Using trade data and interviews with a diplomat, this article highlights Ecuador’s role in China’s strategy of economic growth through geographic diversification.
|Keywords:||China, Ecuador, Trade, Infrastructure|
Graduate Student, Department of Geography, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA
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