Eduardo Porter has a story examining China's role in Latin America's recent economic prosperity. The benign side first,
In 2010, Chinese lending to Latin America roughly equaled that of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United States Ex-Im Bank combined.And the less benign side,
Not only did China’s cheap labor out-compete Latin American industry and draw the lion’s share of global manufacturing investment, but its appetite for Latin America’s minerals, oil and agricultural products also raised the value of currencies around the region, making their manufactured goods even less competitive. Manufacturing’s share in Latin America’s economic output has declined steadily for more than a decade, ever since China inserted itself aggressively into the global economy by entering the World Trade Organization. At the same time, the share of raw materials in Latin America’s exports, which had fallen to a low of 27 percent in the late 1990s, from about 52 percent in the early 1980s, surged back to more than 50 percent on the eve of the global financial crisis.