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times three. An analysis of the worldviews behind three common images on the Transpacific Triangle as they appear on three SinoLatin American works.
Roett,Riordan,andGuadalupePaz.ChinasExpansionintotheWesternHemisphere.ImplicationsforLatinAmericaandthe UnitedStates.Washington,DC:BrookingsInstitutionPress,2008. Gallagher,Kevin,andRobertoPorzecanski.TheDragonintheRoom:ChinaandtheFutureofLatinAmerican Industrialization.PaloAlto:StanfordUniversityPress,2010. Armony,ArielC.,andJuliaC.Strauss.FromtheGreatWalltotheNewWorld:ChinaandLatinAmericainthe21stCentury. Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,2012.

ThreesuccessiveimagescharacterizemostoftheworkssurveyingtheSinoLatinAmericanrelationsof the last decade. First, the authors present, with awe and surprise, the sudden and radical growth in transpacific trade links. Then, they draw pictures where China moves in, while a static Latin America (and the Caribbean)1 opens its arms to the newcomer. Finally, we find descriptions of the triangular and asymmetrical relationship between the PRC, the USA and LAC. We want to employ this book reviewtosuggestananalyticalexplanationoftheworldviewsthatliebehindsuchcommonalities.

Three Successive Images

Almost invariably, recent works will begin with awed expressions on the impressive growth in Sino Latin American economic and diplomatic exchange of the last decade. The figures invoked show how Chinajumpedinaveryshorttimefromverysecondarytrade,investmentanddiplomaticroles,intothe ranks of the top two or top three trade partnership to most countries of the Western Hemisphere. A large set of high ranking diplomatic exchanges accompany the trade boom. Big numbers introduce most works. As coeditors Strauss and Armony point to in their own introduction, Quoting impressive figureshasbecomeacommonplacewhendescribingthisrelationship.(ArmonyandStrauss2012,2) Further on, the authors or editors will address how this new relationship is about China engaging proactively with a much more passive Latin America. The scenes presented resemble a courting ritual that would rise suspicion on feminists and Latin American nationalists alike. First, Latin America opens her arms to the newly arrived transpacific partner where and when the region can export primary goods and commodities. Then, Latin America holds her breath when confronting domestic and internationalcompetitionfromChinesemanufactures.Finally,LACspoliticalactorsbitetheirnailswith anxiety when they weight the opportunities and leverages that the presence of the Asian newcomer wouldgrantthemEspeciallyinrelationtothetraditionallyuncontestedtutelagethatWashingtonhas

While we are aware that conceptualizing the Latin America and Caribbean region as a single entity is problematic inamyriadofsensesthatinclude(butarenotlimitedto)thediversityofpolitical,social,culturalandeconomicrealities,we will do it so in this review. Furthermore, we will shamefully equate Latin America with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in a move that recognizes two commonalities: the backyardness of the involved regions towards the hegemonic USA, and its composition of vulnerable developing nations within the global scene. While politically incorrect, this literary tradeoffwillhelpstreamlineourwriting.

exerted over their regimes, economic policies and world insertion. In fact, save for the romantic metaphors, this is precisely how Evan Ellis begins China in Latin America: the Whats and Wherefores, one of the very first works that tried to systematically explore the complex relationship between the PRCandindividualLatinAmericanCountries.Tobefair,mostauthorsaddawarningtoLatinAmerican countries; they should not remain reactive. Instead, they could and should plan ahead and act proactivelywhenembracingthenewtranspacificengagement. A third common theme reminds us that we can hardly relate to this issue as just a SouthSouth relationship. Instead, we should understand it as part of globalization and, foremost, as part of a Transpacific Triangle where the United States of America have a great gravitational power. Indeed, for most authors it is clear that the PRCs priorities remain first with the USA, and only then with LAC, theUnitedStatestraditionalsphereofhemisphericinfluenceorbackyard.Inthispicture,againvery suited to analogies with gender and identity topics, the United States and China play the role of responsibleadultsengagingintheseriousbusinessofbalancingtheirinterestsandsettingthebinomial rules to play the game of conflict and cooperation when addressing the Americas. On the other part, withtheprobableexceptionofBrazil2and,perhaps,Mexico3,LatinAmericancountriesaredepictedas very junior partners that have not yet proven their coming of age. They remain in debt of successfully facing their rites of passage of true domestic accountability and international autonomy. The fact that suchconcernsforLatinAmericasunderdevelopmentandChinasroleasaresponsibleinternational player are not new is reflected on how clearly they are addressed by different authors, writing from distinctperspectives.Forinstance,itispresentinthebilateral,privateandcloseddoorUnitedStates China Dialogue on Latin America. And it seems more so when we read how Sebastian Pazs tell us his insider version of the four rounds of such dialogues: through edited indiscretions, selecting only those deemed harmless for the author and the readers to share. The junior role of LAC is also very important in the way Cynthia Watson (2011) and Daniel Erikson (2011) address Washingtons stances and perceptions of the triangular relationship depicted in Hearn and LenManrquezs China Engages Latin America: Tracing the Trajectory (2011). In fact, Gallagher and Porzecanskis The Dragon in the Room: China and the Future of Latin American Industrialization (2010) stressed the need for a mature and proactive public policy for the region in two of their three central recommendations. (Gallagher andPorzecanski2010,142144)

Chinas Expansion into the Western Hemisphere

This 2008 compilation reveals typical International Relations question, notions, and concerns by the editors, Riordan Roett and Guadalupe Paz. From a point of view reminiscent of neoclassical realism, the editors are clearly concerned by how the sudden and strong expansion of China in the Western Hemisphere can be misinterpreted by Washingtons decision makers. In order to avoid the wrong escalation of radical and unfriendly answers from the USA, the PRC and the rest of the Americas, they want to carefully asses the interests and possible choices of the three sides in the Trans Pacific Triangle. The fact that some but not all the contributors address the issue from traditional IR

ThePRChaslabeledandaddresseditsrelationshipwithBrazilasastrategicpartnership,reflectingthedeeper political,scientificandeconomiclinks.SeeStrauss 3 MexicoandthePRChaveadeeperandricherdiplomatichistoryarenathanmostothercontinentalLatin Americannations.Butperhapswhatisevenmoreimportanttodayisthattheysharedeepinterests,competitionand potentialforcooperationregardingtheNorthAmericanmarket.(SeeGallagher&Porzecanski,2010)


perspectives enriches the book, as it allows for a wider diplomatic, economic and constructivist perspectives,thatnonethelessfitintotheeditorialline. Inanutshell,thebookisabouthowtobalanceeachsidesinterestto,nonetheless,maximizeeachside profit from the new reality of a triangular relationship. The fact that the Latin America is the node at the end of both catheti immediately relegates its importance, subsumed by the weight of the hypotenuse relationship among the two foreseeable major world powers. As the editors put it, everything indicates that in the twentyfirst century there will be no more important bilateral relationshipthanthatbetweenChinaandtheUnitesStates.(RoettandPaz2008,4)Howdoourthree discursiveimagesappearinthisbook?Therealistoverviewshouldgiveusaclue. The book offers three key visions from the spectacular figures that characterized the Chinese expansion into the Americas. The first chapter, a summary of the non confrontational official Chinese Foreign Policy of going global and peaceful rise, stresses the number of high ranking diplomatic encounters between Chinese and LAC leaders. The second chapter, a critical review of the official Chinese foreign policy, explains such diplomacy as moved by a Chinese geopolitical strategy to first, secure critical energy sources, but also to revise the post Yalta and Bretton Woods global order. The Eight chapter, an overview of Chinese and LACs trends in the energy business gives support to the previous claim. Nonetheless it signals that LAC might not be the most important source of energy for China in the medium term, although in a market with scarce and politically volatile sources, LAC will remainmuchmoreimportantinaglobalmarketperspectivethaninabilateralrelationship. A fourth set of importexport figures is the empirical backbone of the Seventh Chapter, that explores who is winning and who is losing in economic terms with Chinas expansion. In essence, the chapter follows the lines of The Dragon in the Room. But then, lost among econometric data, there was in the thirdchapteraverytellingevaluationfromaChineseLatinAmericanist:mostofhisfellowspecialistsin the region speak little Spanish or Portuguese, although they are much more fluent in English. In fact, while we lack concrete figures from both sides, Armony and Strauss affirm the mirrored idiomatic barrier is true for most LACs sinologist. (Armony and Strauss 2012, 14) Thus, we can probably expect to hear, in those summits where the most trained minds from China and LAC that want to understand each other meet, chatters carried under a pronounced American English accent. The nodal role that the lingua franca plays here goes beyond the symbolic. It surely expands into the dimension of perceptionsinthebuildingofthetrilateralrelationship. Now, the ways in which Latin America is depicted as a reactive or subordinated partner are related to the Realist prism that informs the book. The most important game is occurring between the two powers, China and the USA. Furthermore, important changes are those that affect the international system as awhole, where the Western Hemisphere is justacomponent. The three reasons thatjustify a deep inquiry towards a feeble Latin America are easy to spot. First, the puzzle posed by the current obsolescence of the US Monroe Doctrine, the Chinese rhetoric of peaceful rise along deepening economicanddiplomaticlinks,andthedesireofLACcountriestogainspaceinhemisphericandworld affairs. All of them result from global structural changes, and might be easily understood as based on economic trends. Nonetheless, the compilations realist prism stresses their security implications. Furthermore, the neoclassical realist tone underlines the importance that relevant actors express and understand clearly what are each others interests and projects. The fact that Latin America and the Caribbean is not a unitarian actor and that only a few of their individual members have a relative

importance in world affairs, explains why it is seen as junior, subordinated and movement limited partnerinthetriangle. In the mid 2000s, when the heavier steps of the Chinese landing in LACs shores where heard in Washington,the180yearsoldMonroeDoctrinewasalreadyobsolete.Thatis,whiletheUnitedStates wheretheundisputedregionalhegemon,twodevelopmentshadalteredtherelativeimportanceofits backyard to Washington. First, as Xing Lanxin expresses, once the Latin American and Caribbean regimes had for the most part become democracies, a stern tutelage by Washington was not longer presentable. Second, the region lost importance, in relative terms, to a USAs foreign policy more concernedwiththeMiddleEast,andCentralandPacificAsia. From the Chinese side, their official foreign discourse stresses a pacific rise that does not seek to antagonize with the USA, downplays security issues and underlines winwin rhetoric of trade and multilateralism. The book is generally skeptic of Beijings official discourse, because most authors recognize a contradiction between the natural need of a rising power to become an status quo challenger of some sort, and the capacity of soft power and trade diplomacy to assuage security concerns. Furthermore, China plays diplomatic cards that are, nonetheless, challengers of the Status Quo. For instance, it addresses fellow developing nations as equals, promotes third world blocs in multilateral instances, and competes in favorable political and economic terms in strategic markets once served only by developed countries firms. When faced with Chinas structural need to secure access to key strategic products and markets, like energy, raw materials or food, realist perspectives cannot help but to identify necessary geopolitical motives in Chinas behavior. Latin America is an unevenresourcerichregionwheresuchneedscouldbesatisfied.Thereliesitsstrategicrelevance. So when China addresses the Western Hemisphere, it runs the risk to fall into real or perceived contradictions by Washington. First, Beijing does not want to alienate the USA, on whose enormous consumption of Chinese products and FDI it so heavily depends. Then, all the authors from the compilation agree, it neither can nor wants to challenge the American hegemony over the Americas. But,ontheotherhand,itstillplaystheroleofarevisionistpowerindiplomaticandpowerdistribution termsintherestoftheworld,andwiththedevelopingworldinparticular.LatinAmericasimportance toChinarises,moreinabsolutethaninrelativeterms,whentheregionsinteresttotheUSAdescends in relative terms. This is where the authors debate. Some believe this is a clear and developing challenge to the US interests. Others downplay such risk to just an alarm. Finally, some think that ChinawillrespectthehemisphericStatusQuo. Actually, the keys to solve the realist puzzle are written in black and white in the Third Chapter. The fact is that Latin America is of such little relevance to the USA perspectives, but so secure into its sphere of influence, that while the Doctrine Monroe has been outdated by decades, no other hemispheric wide doctrine has replaced it. On the other hand, as Lanxin believes, Beijing faces with doubts the Hemisphere. It has not been able to present a clear policy toward Latin America that matches strategic needs and diplomatic rhetoric In his words: In reality [], China has yet to define the nature of its relations with Latin America. (Lanxin 2008, 44) Without clear doctrines from their great powers capitals, neoclassical realist literature has a hard time assessing its objects of studys rationales. Latin America is depicted as somehow stuck, thus unable to move too much, eager to welcome the PRCinmostcases,butonlypartiallyfreedfromAmericanhegemony.Iftheregiondoesnotreceivebut

benign neglect from Washington, and constrained but undecided attention from Beijing, it does not fare much better on its own. For instance, it has not even tried a serious regional energy policy, even when that particular sector is one of its clear strategic cards. When the book was published, J.G. Tokatlin referred to regional dispersion and fragmentation. Today, bodies like Unasur or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States represent at least symbolic attempts to present a regionalfacethatdoesnotincludetheUnitedStates.Nonetheless,noneofthemhasbuiltatruetrade orcommercialblockthatcouldnegotiateinfirmertermswitheithertheUSAorthePRC. Where China and LACs official interests do converge clearly is in their similar projects of diplomacy andinternationalgovernance.Theybothsupportamoredemocraticinternationalrelationsframework thatstressesinternationallaw,multilateralismand,tosomedegree,noninterventionism.Whileliberal readings should understand this as an opportunity for cooperation, realist perspectives would downplaythemasofmererhetoricrelevance.

The Dragon in the Room

The Dragon in the Room pretends to demystify the Chinese presence in the Latin American economic context, cutting to the macroeconomic bone and focusing on the trade and production medulla of the relationship. It does so by placing the economic foundations of the relationship in both a bilateral and globalized historic perspective. From there it draws conclusions on the probable future trends, critiquesthelessempiricviewsthattrumpetChinaasanautomaticdemonorangelfortheregion,and reminds LAC that a successful insertion into the global market is both a necessity and a path that requiressoundandproactivepublicpolicies. The stated purpose of the authors is to assess how and how much the Chinese economic expansion andglobalizationhaveaffectedLatinAmericanandCaribbeaneconomies.Theyfindthatithasdoneso deeply, in both absolute terms and developmental challenges. In absolute terms, China matters because its industrial output poses a very strong competition for most of LACs economies, in both their domestic and the international markets. The lesson to Latin American countries, from the authors perspective, is to learn from the differences in the developmental models of the last four decades. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, LAC has strictly followed the Washington Consensuss recipes on neoliberal economic public policies, with generally very modest results. Meanwhile, China has followed a developmental path where the state plays a larger role and every step toward liberalization and insertion into the global market is carefully taken, reviewed and corrected. This connection between the economic performance and the developmental paths is the substantial componentofthebook. In the authors account, no less than 94% of LACs manufactures are under threat from Chinese competition. On the other hand, Chinas weight in the global commodities consumption side of the market has meant a decade long boom in the volume and value of primary exports from LAC. Nonetheless, in 2006 LACs exports to China only accounted for 3.6 of the total share, and even then, they are highly concentrated in ten sectors and six countries that amount to the 74 percent of all exports,or a91percentofcommoditiesexportedtotheAsiangiant.(GallagherandPorzecanski2010, 1617).Ifsuchtrendswheretocontinue,LACshouldexpecttofacetwodifficultconsequences.First,a balance of payments skewed in favor of the manufacture exporting PRC and against a primirized LAC. Secondly, if the trend locks up, half a century of diversification and efforts at industrializing would be lostfortheregion.

The book is very clear in stating that the most important legacy of Chinas rise lies in the lessons on developmental and economic policies it provides to developing countries. For instance, the authors explain the differences in economic success between China and LAC from a historical perspective that begins with their similitudes up to the late 1970s. Both had in poverty, mercantilism, and development, somehow similar conditions and challenges. Then, they both embraced global market andliberalizationasrecipestoface,butthroughverydistinctsetofpolicies. In the one hand, there was a Washington Consensual LAC that applied neoliberal policies. This yearned average annual GDP growths of around 2%, and a thin and uneven productive diversification. The role and particularinterests of the United States and the Industrial West, often exerted through the IMF and IADB, played a decisive role in setting LACs agenda. On the other hand is the PRC, who followedacarefulandslowapproachtoliberalizepartofitseconomyandaddressedinsertionintothe global market through public policies where the State played a large and protective role. For instance, it had in diversification, industrialization, and investment in technology a set of public priorities. This pragmaticstrategythatcouldbelabeledbythereaderassovereignwasnicelycharacterizedbyDeng Xiaopingascrossingtheriverbyfeelingeachstone. And that is precisely the material and conceptual challenge that the book proposes to Latin America and the Caribbean: To both embrace both the global market (or to refrain from returning to mercantilistor Dependency Theory inspired policies) whileat the same time developing public policies where the State does not leave every decision to the market logic. Instead, the LACs States should be active in what concerns stabilization, investments in technology and sound reinvestment of the profits from the current boom in commodities exports. Chinas rise alone wont automatically improve Latin Americaseconomicconditions.Infact,itwillsupposeagreatandperformingcompetitorfortheNorth American market, still the largest in the world and vital to both China and Latin America. Moreover, Chinas raise poses a serious threat to LACs industrial base, and might encourage a structural primarization of the latters economic model. Such would be a grim and suboptimal future for LACs place in a globalized world. To avoid such destiny, the authors urge for a proactive Latin America, characterized by a developmental model that rejects the neoliberal basis of the Washington Consensus, with sound public policies, does not leave key decisions to the logic of the markets and, of great political importance, seeks in LACs choices the determinant for progress. The region cannot expecttobesavedbyexogenousforcesintheglobalmarketorintheinternationalrelations.Itmost relyonitself. Thus, the Dragon in the Room configures the three prevalent images of economic figures, Chinese proactivity/LACsreceptiveness,andLACssubordinatedroletothePRCandtheUSAinasortofcausal mechanism where the authors urge Latin American countries to see the need (and current opportunity) to come of age, take the lead of their own fate (that is, to reign over their political economy) and redraw the last picture. The clear policy recommendations are the authors valuable alternative to LACs passiveness. For the politics or policy oriented reader, that is a great strength of TheDragonintheRoom. Nonetheless, the authors fall short in two aspects that could have been easily improved. First, even whilethemarket,andespeciallytheglobalizedmarket,playsacentralroleintheirconceptualizationof the development policies, they uncritically accept a liberal and apolitical definition of it that limits their argument. (Gallagher and Porzecanski 2010, 46) Second, the book shies away to qualify certain keypoliticalconditions. Forinstance,theconceptofsovereigntyorindependenceasaprerequisitefor

LAC countries to take the best public policy choices is invoked many times, but not explained firmly. Instead it is vaguely contrasted to tacit impositions of neoliberal recipes followed in the past. (Gallagher and Porzecanski 2010, 144) A quick reference to the conceptual tools from the Varieties of Capitalism literature would have provided greaterexplanatory power.A quick comparison would help usclarifythesecritiques Gallagher and Porzecanskis critique the Washington Consensus as an uncritical neoliberal creed that informedasuboptimaldevelopmentalpath.TheycontrastittotheimportantrolethattheStatehadin the PRCs careful opening model. In that sense, they do not propose to LAC to retreat from the global markets, but instead to face them in a different way. To articulate this problem, they could have redefined the nature of the market as a politically constructed entity, where State policies play a determinant role. This conceptual deficiency stands out when we compare it to the successful conceptual definition offered by Ruben GonzalezVicentes chapter on Chinese investment in mining thatisincludedinFromtheGreatWalltotheNewWorld.There,theauthorreliesonaCriticalPolitical Economy definition of the market as an uneven political institution to which mainstream norms Chineseminingcompaniesareincreasingly(yetnotlinearly)adapting.(2012,36) SuchapproachallowsGonzalesVicentetoexplainhowoneofthecharacteristicsoftheChineseGoing Out policy is to address each of its partners domestic markets carefully, preferring some and tolerating others, but influencing all to the extent of its political possibilities. How to politically influence and/or profit from the domestic, bilateral or global constructed rules of the market is a lessonthatshouldnotbemissedbyLatinAmerica.SuchaconceptualclaritywouldhaveallowedRoett and Paz to further demystify not only China, but the neoliberal basis of the Washington Consensus too. When the authors explain the different economic outcomes of China and LAC as the dependant variable that was influenced by the kind of recipes to economic liberalization, diversification and engagementoftheglobalmarkets,theyareinfactaddressingwhattheComparativePoliticsliterature calls Varieties of Capitalism. When they consider how alike are the current and mid 20h century developmental challenges of LAC, namely the risk to lock into a concentrated and low value primary economy, they draw parallels to Dependency Theories, albeit they urge to remain open market oriented. The contrast between both elements should remind most Latin Americanist readers of the fact that the developmental frameworks pursued by the region can historically be explained not only byworldmarketdeterminants,butalsobythedomesticconflictsofinterests. The authors praise the relative success of Mexico and Southern Cone industrialization project in the second half of the 20th Century as the correct choice that helped diversify the economies. But we should not forget the political role that conflicting elites have in such processes. For instance, the political, particularities of the Bureaucratic Authoritarian Regimes and their variance of ISI during the 1960sand1970s,wheremilitaryandindustrialelitesdisplacedcompetingruralelitesandconstrained base movements. And then, during the liberalization of the 1980s, the economic opening occurred along a democratization process where political actors with economic interests in the globalization process played a very important role. The role of powerful foreign states, with the regional hegemon playing a protagonist role, in influencing from the international politics sphere the Latin American domesticagendascanhardlybeforgotten.

Then, the politics oriented reader cannot help but to ask: who is benefiting domestically from the current primarization trend in LAC in regard to China? How ready are current elites and bases to face the structural changes inherent to a primarization of the economy? These questions are indeed relevant, considering how the authors fundamental recommendation is to enhance the role of the State, the quintessential embodiment of politics, in the economy. The uncritical liberal tone that informs most of The Dragon in the Rooms political concepts hinder the explanatory power of the politicaldimensionofitsthesis.

From the Great Wall to the New World

Movement and traction are notions that could help us understand this compilation. The book acknowledges that theSinoLatin American field of studies is still new,but moving fast. It could not be otherwise, since the very objects, subjects and links it studies are evolving at breathtaking speeds. Works based on trade figures, as for instance those that address the degrees of transpacific economic complementarity, loose their explanatory power in just a couple of years. The speed of the evolution wearewitnessingissimplytoohigh,andtheanalyticaltoolsarestilllimited. Where should scholars look for a solid ground from where to gain the traction, the powerful torque required keeping up with the pace of the transpacific triangle? The editors believe that there are a good number of relatively untapped spaces from where to build a more comprehensive body of knowledge on the field. For instance, one that moves beyond trade and goes into cultural, social and perceptionlinks. Notwithstandingsuchpossibilities,ArmonyandStraussalsopointouttoacriticalissuethanshouldbe addressed. The knowledge gap between China and Latin America is deep. As mentioned above, linguisticbarriersarecommonevenbetweenthemostcommittedmindsfromeachsideofthePacific. Then, a limited understanding of each other's values, perceptions and rules makes it all prone to simpler (simplistic) explanation where explanatory depth is lost in (the lack of proper) translation. In a subtle way, the book calls for such issues to be addressed through a particular approach, the one typical from area studies. Nonetheless it does so by reminding us that today, and specially when addressing China's insertion in the global networks, a clear understanding of globalization is important tounderstandtheevolvingplaceoftheareasofstudy. From the three reviewed works, this is the most multidisciplinary in scope. It includes but also moves beyond the fields of Economics and mainstream International Relations. By giving space to for diverse socialsciences,likeanthropologyandcomparativepolitics,andbyrelyingmuchmoreonconstructivist approachesand criticalpolitical economy. In what seems anatural move for the field, this compilation evidences how academy is scouting for new terrains where to unveil hidden links that frame and constitutetheSinoLatinAmericarelationship.Howdoourthreerecurringimagesfitin?Aswewillsee briefly, in this book they will represent the structures from where the movement and the traction can beassessed. This book's introduction is the one where the notion of introducing each work on the subject with impressive trade figures is put on a critical perspective. The numbers are probably true, but they change so quickly, and have such evolving consequences, that finding a much more structured perspectiveisessential.Wheretheshallowcoverageofyeartoyearstatisticsisnotenough,thedepth ofspecificcasestudiesmightprovideananchor.

Such is the goal of the third, fourth, and fifth chapters. The first, by Ruben GonzalezVicente, explores theglobalanddomesticdeterminantsthatdetermineChinesemininginvestmentoverseas.Thenitand compares their behavior in the light of standard western practices and explores the Chinese mining trajectory in Per. What the authors get from his empirical measures is that Chinese mining companies are driven to satisfy the rules and challenges of the Chinese domestic market. That is, a market politically constructed, heavily influenced by the policies of the Chinese state, and on that basis, a growing market where state owned Chinese firms have a competitive advantage over other, perhaps western, firm, in their vertical integration with the processing chains of production that await for the extracted minerals in mainland China. In this way, the author demystifies both the political dimension of what drives Chinese mining firms in the world, the role that the Chinese state plays in fostering their going out strategies, and the comparative differences and similitudes between Chinese and nonChinese mining behavior. Beyond the big numbers, a particular but logical set of structuralruleswasunveiled.(GonzalezVicente2012,56) Thefourthchapter,byRhysJenkinsandAlexandredeFreitasBarbosa,exploresindepththeimpacton BrazilianindustriesfromthegrowingChinesecompetitioninmanufacturedgoods.Thefifth,byEnrique Dussel, studies the nature of the auto parts and automotive production chains in China and Mexico in order to zero in in their difference, commonalities, competitiveness and options for cooperation. It is striking that both essays follow a line similar to the one found in The Dragon in the Room, even to the pointofstressingthesamepolicyrecommendations. ThefirstaffirmsthatBrazilianandLatinAmericancountriesshouldnotrelyonmercantilistoptions,but instead,shouldadoptpoliciesthatfostercompetitivenesswherethestatedoesnotplayapassiverole. Strengthening regional integration that goes beyond free markets and deploying a sound set of public policies domestically can foster Brazilian, and by extension Latin American, industrial opportunities. This essay deserves a critique, anyway. While it stresses that bilateral trade indicators do not offer a definitive picture, and signal that Brazilian industrial elites have exaggerated on public how much they have been hurt by Chinese exports, it simply discards the political dimensions derived from the technical capabilities of different indicators. A simple mention to the important debate of how to measure trade with China, as for instance through FOB or tonnage, is sorely missed by the Political Economyreader.Thefactisthatmoststandardtradeindicatorsdevelopedinthelasthalfcenturyhave a hard time accounting for massive exports from a low currency and production costs characterized industrial center. Had they followed the example of The Dragon in the Rooms appendix, one or two paragraphsshouldhavesufficedtoexplaintheirposition. The second one reminds the reader that the perceived risk to LAC industries by Chinese production is, inmanyaspects,aresultfromMexicanavoidableshortcomings.Thisfact,thatistrueformostofLACs industrial bases, should and could be addressed by sound public developmental policies. In the author words: China is not the source of this Latin American structural problem, but rather a mirror reflecting the nakedness of the region in terms of social and macroeconomic policies, as well as R&D, trade, competitiveness, industrial and innovation policies, and in many other specific segments.(Dussel2012,84) Otherwise, for instance if the industrial sector is left alone to rely on the limited mechanisms of the neoliberallyunderstoodmarket,LACindustrialoutputmightnotsurviveChinesecompetition.(Jenkins and Barbosa 2012, 81) Will Latin America pass the rite of passage of politically taking the reins of its

developmental path? How much could it learn from the Chinese experience? How much from the Chinese leadership? Those questions become very relevant when From the Great Wall to the New WorldexploreshowChineseactorsseeLatinAmerica. Three chapters are devoted to the framing discourses from Chinese actors. Julia Strauss one refers to elite perception, drawing from official and semiofficial discourse. Yinghong Chengs contribution addresses how Cuba, the fellow communist country from the Caribbean, has been understood in the PRCs ideological debates. Finally, Simon Shen writes an interest essay on how Chinese Netizens perceiveintheironlinespacesa,inanycase,nottoorelevantLatinAmerica. Strauss article is the most relevant to understand the discursive framing structures of Chinese elites. Rightattheverybeginningshesummarizesinasentenceanotionthatinformsthiscompilation,andis true but not that commonly written in Sino Latin American works. She reminds us that we, outside China, have little understanding of how Chinese elites frame their interests. (Strauss 2012, 135) Traditional approaches from IPE and IR disciplines have not been able to deliver empirically sound guidelines.WecouldexplainsuchashortcomingtoIPEsaccountantdilemma,theproblemthisbook review implied in Rhys and Jenkins article. Furthermore, as discussed during the review of the first chaptersofChinasExpansionintotheWesternHemisphere,realistreadingshaveahardtimeassessing the Big Powers interest towards a region that is both feeble, traditionally secure for one of them, and thusdeprivedofupdatedorsecuritystructuredforeignpolicydoctrines. In order to move to greener fields, she employs a discourse analysis approach to historical official and semiofficialPRCstancestowardsthethirdworld,focusingonLatinAmerica,andcomparingittoAfrica. There,sheidentifiestwopartiallyoverlapping,partiallycontradictorydiscursivelinesthat,anyway,are bothderivedfrominterpretationsofZhuEnlaisFivePrinciplesofPeacefulCoexistence. The first one, called fractal by the author, allowed China to present herself as a third world nation that has endured at the hands of western imperialism, poverty, and underdevelopment the same shared experiences that most other developing nations. It is present in discourses from the 1960s onwards.Selfsufficiencyandresorttoownmeansisoneofitsliterarymemes.ItpositsthatChinaisa practical and moral model to be emulated and is predicated on a fractal, fundamentally replicative understanding of development (Strauss 2012, 154). The second one, labeled as the division of labor perspective, posits that in order to develop, countries should play the global game of the world market, as opposite to resorting to their own domestic market. This discourse has been played since the turn of the millennium, and as such, it has determined much of Chinas rhetoric towards Latin Americaduringtherecentboomintranspacificlinks.Aglobaldivisionoflaboralonganacceptanceofa notionofcomparativeadvantagesthatwoulddividetheworldbetweenprovidersofrawmaterialsand manufacturers is at the core of this message. For instance, the current primarization drives of LACs economies that, under the commodities lottery, are able to export Raw Materials, fits perfectly well into this model. Not surprisingly, the Strauss finds such discourses to be in essence contradictory. (Strauss2012,155) But then, the overlapping of both discourses reflects very well the oscillations of our second and third common images among the reviewed authors. When they see China advancing toward Latin America, they describe the big numbers, or our first image. Those numbers are only possible by Chinas economic rise, a product of a set of developmental policies where the Asian giant relied on itself (as opposed to rely on others, and specially, on imperialist neoliberal others) to pragmatically globalize

its economy. This is where the fractal Chinese discourses view is echoed in many of our authors, like Gallagher and Porzecanski (2010) or Dussel 2012 and Jenkins and Barbosa (2012). They believe that such a path granted China world power status and emancipated it from determinants like the poverty trap and western tutelage, thus identifying the Chinese model as the way for Latin America to successfully undertake its rite of passage into a full and respected member of the international community.Thisisthekeyquestionofourthirdcommonimage. Nonetheless,thoseverysameauthorswarnagainsttheriskoflossofdiversificationanderosionofthe Latin Americas industrial base to a too intensive primarization of their economies. To satisfy the currentworldtrendsofhighpricedcommoditiesisseenasprofitableintheshortormediumterm,but a suboptimal (read grim) choice in the long term. The irony is that this division of labor model is the onethatChinaissupportingrightaway,especiallytowardsLatinAmerica.LatinAmericaspassiveopen arms stance toward a proactive and incoming China, our second common image, is what is here described by Roett and Paz compilation (2008). The need of a tertiary based USA to bargain privately witharecentlyindustrializedPRCinordertodistributecooperativelytheprimaryshareofjuniorLACs commodities, wealth and diplomatic allegiances is what constitutes our third common image. (See GonzalezVicente(2012)andPaz(2012))Strausssthesisgivesusananalyticaltoolthatcanhelpusknit thedifferentimagesandanalyticalperspectivestogether.

What many authors of Sino Latin American relations debate is condensed in the contradictions between the two overlapping discourses that Strauss unveils. The realist readings stress their perceivedcontradictionsonthecooperativetoneofbothfractalanddivisionoflabordiscoursesonthe one hand, and the geopolitical needs of a resource hungry China on the other hand. But at the same time, they have to deal with the absence of a clear policy toward Latin America from not only a bi discursive Beijing, but an outdated (and perhaps neglecting) Washington too. There we can find most ofthecontentfromChinasExpansionintotheWesternHemisphere. More liberal readings are enthusiastic on the prospects of cooperation, as they believe that the common tone is the appropriate one to address the perceived economic complementarities between China and LAC, and even the way to devise means that make the latter two complimentary when dealing with the USAs markets. That is, in a nutshell, The Dragon in the Rooms stance towards the TranspacificTriangleseconomicexchange.Whatauthorsheredebatemirrorsthepartialcontradiction betweenthefractalandthedivisionoflaborofficialChinesesdiscourses.Whyisso?Whoreflectsonto whom?Whichdiscoursecausestheother? To answer the last question, the contents of From the Great Wall to the New World are very relevant tomakesenseoftheperspectivesthatareatstake.Infact,thisreviewessaymodelofidentifyingthree common images was inspired on the formers introduction. As this volume brings perspectives more critical to the economic liberalism principles, that address the problems from less traditional approaches and disciplines than the bogged down IR and IPE, and above all, as it gives great credit to constructivist approaches to help us broaden our view and deepen our case studies, we can begin to understandhowpoliticalandacademicdiscourseframeeachother.
NicolsVelsquez INSGraduateStudent



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