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Bienvenida China: The Role of International Economic Law in China's Economic Relations with Latin America and the Caribbean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2022

Gabriel GARCIA*
Affiliation:
School of Law, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Abstract

The first two decades of the twenty-first century saw the rapid rise of China in the global stage. During this period, China acquired valuable knowledge and expertise in International Economic Law (IEL), and expanded its trade and investments across the globe. The emergence of China has benefitted many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in terms of trade and investment; however, it is unclear whether IEL has contributed with the expansion of China's economic relations with LAC. This article aims to address this question by reviewing the strategies and mechanisms employed by China to promote trade, investment and development finance in the region. Its central argument is that China has opted to engage with LAC using an eclectic platform that combines hard law instruments and institutions as well as other soft law mechanisms.

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Article
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Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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References

1 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Foreign Direct Investment in Latin American and the Caribbean 2021 (Santiago: ECLAC, 2021) at 87–88.

2 Kevin GALLAGHER and Margaret MYERS, “China-Latin America Finance Database 2021” Inter-America Dialogue (2022), online: Inter-America Dialogue <https://www.thedialogue.org/map_list/>.

3 For an account of the Manila galleons, see Arturo GIRALDEZ, The Age of Trade: the Manila Galleons and the Down of the Global Economy (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

4 Hernán LUCENA MOLERO, “Editorial, China y Latinoamérica” (2018) 25 Humania del Sur 9 at 9.

5 See Abraham LOWENTHAL and Hannah BARON, “A Transformed Latin America in a Rapidly Changing World” in Jorge DOMINGUEZ and Ana COVARRUBIAS, eds., Routledge Handbook of Latin America in the World (New York: Routledge, 2015), 25.

6 Cuba established diplomatic relations with China in 1960 and Chile in 1970. Eight countries in LAC still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, namely Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

7 Lanxin XIANG, “An Alternative View” in Riordan ROETT and Guadalupe PAZ, eds., China's Expansion into the Western Hemisphere (Washington: Brooking Institution Press, 2008), 44.

8 Guadalupe PAZ, “Introduction: Assessing Latin America's Relations with the Asian Giants” in Riordan ROETT and Gualupe PAZ, eds., Latin America and the Asian Giants (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2016), 1.

9 The title of this article is “Bienvenida China”, which means “Welcome China”.

10 See GARCIA, Gabriel, “The Rise of the Global South, the IMF and the Future of Law and Development” (2016) 37 Third World Quarterly 191CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 See, for example, Robert ZOELLICK “Whiter China: From Membership to Responsibility?” US Department of State (21 September 2005), online: US Department of State <https://2001-2009.state.gov/s/d/former/zoellick/rem/53682.htm>; Richard HARRIS and Armando ARIAS, “China's South-South Cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean” (2016) 32 Journal of Developing Societies 508.

12 Olivia GAZIZ, “Pence says China is Engaged in ‘Unprecedented Effort’ to Influence Americans” CBS News (4 October 2018), online: CBS News <https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pence-set-to-accuse-china-of-interfering-in-u-s-policies-politics-in-speech/>; Pablo VIVANCO, “The Trump Doctrine's US Working Overtime to Box China Out of Latin America” Asiatimes (21 August 2018), online: Asiatimes <http://www.atimes.com/the-trump-doctrine-us-working-overtime-to-box-china-out-of-latin-america/>.

13 Trump White House, “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” (December 2017), online: Trump White House <https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905.pdf> at 51. See also Katherine KOLESKI and Alec BLIVAS, “China's Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean” (17 October 2018), online: U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission <https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/China's%20Engagement%20with%20Latin%20America%20and%20the%20Caribbean_.pdf>.

14 Asif QUERESHI, Xuan GAO and Jeong Ah LEE, “International Economic Law” (26 August 2020), online: Oxford Bibliographies <https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199796953/obo-9780199796953-0092.xml>. See also YU, Jinsong, “The Theories of International Economic Law in China” (2001) 28 Legal Issues of Economic Integration 249CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 253.

15 See, for example, CHARNOVITZ, Steve, “What is International Economic Law?” (2011) 14 (2) Journal of International Economic Law 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar; VAGTS, Detlev, “International Economic Law and the American Journal of International Law” (2006) 100 (4) American Journal of International Law 769CrossRefGoogle Scholar; David COLLINS, Foundations of International Economic Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2019); Yu, supra note 14.

16 See Amanda PERRY-KESSARIS, “What Does it Mean to Take a Socio-legal Approach to International Economic Law?” in Amanda PERRY-KESSARIS, ed., Socio-Legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, Context, Subtext (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 7.

17 In the last biannual conference organised by the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) in 2021, only four out of 28 panels had a theme that was not directly related to trade, investment, finance, or development law and referred to issues such as judicialization of international economic relations, vaccine nationalism, corporate social responsibility, and anticorruption treaties. Five panels had a theme that related to a traditional area of IEL and international environment law while a panel focused on trade, human rights, and labour law. A copy of the full 2021 conference program is available at: Society of International Economic Law, “SIEL 2021 Milan Global Conference”, online: SIEL <https://www.sielnet.org/conferences/siel2021/>.

18 See Collins, supra note 15; Frank J. GARCIA and Lindita V. CIKO, “Theories of Justice and International Economic Law” in John LINARELLI, ed., Research Handbook on Global Justice and International Economic Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013), 54. Third World Approaches to International Law has challenged formalistic IEL scholars for decades. See, for example, Antony ANGHIE, “Legal Aspects of the New International Economic Order” (2015) 6 Humanity 145; B.S CHIMMI, “Critical Theory and International Economic Law: a Third World Approach to International Law (TWAIL) Perspective” in John LINARELLI, ed., Research Handbook on Global Justice and International Economic Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013), 251. Other alternative views have emerged recently, see, for example, Amanda PERRY-KESSARIS, ed., Socio-Legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, Context, Subtext (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013); J.D. HASKELL and A. RAUSULOV, eds., New Voices and New Perspectives in International Economic Law (Glasgow: Springer, 2020).

19 See, for example, Yu, supra note 14; HSIEH, Pasha, “China's Development of International Economic Law and WTO Legal Capacity Building” (2010) 13 Journal of International Economic Law 997CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Gregory SHAFFER and Henry GAO, “China's Rise: How It Took on the U.S. at the WTO” (2018) University of Illinois Law Review 115.

20 For an article that explores this issue in more detail see CHESTERMAN, Simon, “Asian's Ambivalence about International Law and Institutions: Past, Present, and Futures” (2016) 27 European Journal of International Law 945CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 Yu, supra note 14 at 249; Hsieh, supra 19 at 1003.

22 Ross OEHLER, “Patent Law in the People's Republic of China: A Primer” (1987) 8 New York Law School Journal of International & Comparative Law 451 at 455.

23 Yu, supra note 14 at 249.

24 Hsieh, supra note 19 at 1003.

25 Shaffer and Gao, supra note 19 at 142.

26 China has been often portrayed by Westerners as lawless and unrestrained by international law. For works that explore this topic, see Teemu RUSKOLA, Legal Orientalism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013); Lisa TOOHEY, “Regarding China: Images of China in the International Order” in Lisa TOOHEY, Colin B. PICKER, and Jonathan GREENACRE, eds., China in the International Economic Order: New Directions and Changing Paradigms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) 27. For studies that assess China's compliance with international economic regulations, see, for example, Francis SNYDER, The EU, the WTO and China (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2010); World Trade Organisation, “Trade Policy Review (WT/TPR/415)” (15 September 2021), online: WTO <http://images.mofcom.gov.cn/chinawto/202111/20211104102416914.pdf>.

27 See, for example, Jiangyu WANG, “International Economic Law” in Simon CHESTERMAN, Hisashi OWADA, and Ben SAUL, eds., Oxford Handbook of International Law in Asia and the Pacific (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 231.

28 Celine TAN, “Navigating New Landscapes: Social-legal Mapping of Plurality and Power in International Economic Law” in Amanda PERRIS-KESSARIS, ed., Socio-Legal Approaches to International Economic Law: Text, Context, Subtext (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 19.

29 State Council of the People's Republic of China, “Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean” (24 November 2016), online: State Council of the People's Republic of China <http://english.www.gov.cn/archive/white_paper/2016/11/24/content_281475499069158.htm>.

30 For the purpose of this article, soft law means agreements and declarations that do not meet the requirements of an international treaty and therefore are not legally binding.

31 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, “China's Initiation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence”, online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China <https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/cein//eng/ssygd/fiveprinciple/t82102.htm>.

32 For a legal analysis of the new international economic order, see Anghie, supra note 18.

33 Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, GA Res. 3281, UN Doc. A/RES/3281 (1974).

34 State Council of the People's Republic of China, supra note 29.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid. CELAC stands for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (La Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños). This forum will be discussed in more detail in the next section.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 China-CELAC Forum, “China-Latin American and the Caribbean Cooperation Countries Plan 2015–2019” (23 January 2015), online: China-CELAC Forum <http://www.chinaceLACforum.org/eng/zywj_3/201501/t20150123_6475954.htm>.

40 For a discussion of the left-turn phenomenon in LAC see Steve ELLNER, ed., Latin America's Pink Tide: Breakthroughs and Shortcomings (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, 2019); Kenneth ROBERTS, “Beyond Neoliberalism: Popular Responses to Social Change in Latin America” in John BURDICK, Philip OXHORN and Kenneth ROBERTS, eds., Beyond Neoliberalism in Latin America? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 1.

41 See, for example, Julio FAUNDEZ, “International Economic Law and Development: Before and After Neo-liberalism” in Julio FAUNDEZ and Celine TAN, eds., International Economic Law, Globalization and Developing Countries (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010), 11.

42 See Garcia, supra note 10 at 194–201.

43 Colin PICKER, “China's Legal Cultural Relationship to International Economic Law: Multiple and Conflicting Paradigms” in Toohey, Picker, and Greenacre, supra note 26 at 62.

44 Ibid., at 65. See also LI, Zhaojie, “Traditional Chinese World Order” (2002) 1 Chinese Journal of International Law 20Google Scholar.

45 Picker, supra note 43 at 66–70.

46 Partnership agreements and documents signed under the B.R.I between China and LAC governments generally include a provision according to which any dispute between the parties will be resolved amicably rather than mandating arbitration. This point will be discussed further later in Section IV when we reviewed China's mechanisms of engagement.

47 See Roger F. NORIEGA, “China's Influence in the Western Hemisphere” US House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere (6 April 2005), online: Govinfo <https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg20404/pdf/CHRG-109hhrg20404.pdf> at 18; People's Daily, “China's ‘Not a Threat’ in L. America” (19 August 2010), online: People's Daily <http://en.people.cn/90001/90776/90883/7109092.html>. See also Jose LEON-MANRIQUEZ and Luis F. ALVAREZ, “Mao's Steps in Monroe's Back Yard” Towards a United States-China Hegemonic Struggle in Latin America?” (2014) 57 Revista Brasileira de Política International 9.

48 Agreement Establishing the Inter-American Development Bank, 8 April 1959, 389 U.N.T.S. (entered into force 30 December 1959).

49 China's total paid IDB capital is US$124.1 million which is smaller than other non-borrowing members such as the United States (US$4.7 billion), Japan (US$629 million), Canada (US$426 million), Germany (US$242 million), France (US$238 million), Italy (US$238 million) and Spain (US$237 million). See Inter-American Development Bank, Annual Report 2020 (Santiago: IDB, 2021).

50 China generally votes with other countries to appoint an executive director.

51 Yulu CHEN, “Statement by the Alternate Governor for China” IDB (24 March 2018), online: IDB <https://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getDocument.aspx?DOCNUM=EZSHARE-1618510001-5210>.

52 Since 2013, Nicolas Maduro has governed Venezuela. A de-facto Constituent Assembly was formed in July 2017 to support Maduro's regime and it illegally called for presidential elections in May 2018. The elections were won by Maduro. The elections were illegal, therefore, Maduro's presidential mandate effectively ended in January 2019. To address the void, Juan Guaidó, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly was sworn in as the interim president of the country in January 2019, invoking Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution. Due to this constitutional crisis, in practice, there are two presidents in Venezuela: Maduro, who many consider a de-facto president, and Guaidó, who is recognised as the constitutional president by more than fifty countries.

53 Lesley WROUGHTON and Roberta RAMPTON, “IADB Cancel China Meeting After Beijing Bars Venezuela Representative” Reuters (23 March 2019), online: Reuters <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-china-iadb-exclusi/exclusive-iadb-cancels-china-meeting-after-beijing-bars-venezuela-representative-idUSKCN1R32NU>.

54 Luc COHEN, “Corrected-RPT-US, China Rivalry Poses Risks, Benefits for Latin America” Reuters (5 April 2018), online: Reuters<https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-trade-china-latin-america/corrected-rpt-u-s-china-rivalry-poses-risks-benefits-for-latin-america-idUSL2N1RH2ED>.

55 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China “Institutional Arrangements” (23 January 2015), online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China <http://www.chinaceLACforum.org/eng/zywj_3/t1230941.htm>.

56 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, “Basic Information about China-CELAC Forum” (April 2016), online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China <http://www.chinaceLACforum.org/eng/ltjj_1/201612/P020210828094665781093.pdf>, 6.

57 Ibid., at 14.

58 Ibid.

59 China-CELAC Forum, “Declaration of Santiago II Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum” (22 January 2018), online: Gobierno del El Salvador <https://ceLAC.rree.gob.sv/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Declaration-of-Santiago-II-CELAC-China-Forum.-22-01-2018.pdf>.

60 Ibid.

61 China-CELAC Forum, “CELAC and China Joint Plan of Action for Cooperation on Priority Areas 2019–2021” (22 January 2018), online: Gobierno de El Salvador <https://ceLAC.rree.gob.sv/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Joint-Action-Plan-II-CELAC-China-Forum.-22-01-18.pdf>.

62 Ibid.

63 Ibid.

64 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, supra note 56 at 38–47.

65 China-CELAC Forum, “China and Latin America and Caribbean Countries Hold Special Video Conference of Foreign Ministers on COVID-19” (27 July 2020), online: China-CELAC Forum <http://www.chinaceLACforum.org/eng/zyxw_1/t1800972.htm>.

66 See Wilson Centre, “Aid from China and the U.S. to Latin America Amid the COVID-19 Crisis” (2 March 2022), online: Wilson Centre <https://www.wilsoncenter.org/aid-china-and-us-latin-america-amid-covid-19-crisis>.

67 Ibid.

68 China-CELAC Forum, “Declaration of the Third Ministers’ Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (7 December 2021), online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China <https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/topics_665678/kjgzbdfyyq/202112/t20211207_10463460.html>.

69 FEALAC, “Overview”, online: <http://www.feaLAC.org/new/about/overview.jsp>.

70 FEALAC, “FEALAC Leaflet 2020” FELAC (November 2020), online: FEALAC <https://www.feaLAC.org/new/document/board.do?sboard_id=leaflet&onepage=100>.

71 The Pacific Alliance, “What is the Pacific Alliance?” PA, online: <https://alianzapacifico.net/en/what-is-the-pacific-alliance/>.

72 See Benjamin CREUTZFELDT, “China's Engagement with Regional Actors: The Pacific Alliance” Wilson Center (26 July 2018), online: Wilson Center <https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/chinas-engagement-regional-actors-the-pacific-alliance>.

73 China-CELAC Forum, “China-CELAC Forum”, online: <http://www.chinacelacforum.org/eng/>.

74 China-CELAC Forum, “Institutional Arrangements and Operating Rules” China-CELAC Forum (23 January 2015), online: China-CELAC Forum, online: <http://www.chinaceLACforum.org/eng/zywj_3/201501/t20150123_6475947.htm>.

75 National Bureau of Statistics of China, “China Statistical Yearbook 2019” NBSC (2020), online: NBSC <http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/2019/indexeh.htm>. ECLAC reported that FDI from China and Hong Kong (SAR) to LAC grew from a few millions of dollars at the beginning of the 2000s to about US$600 million in 2019 with a pick of US$3 billion in 2011. ECLAC estimated that China's FDI to the region was US$158 billion between 2005 and 2020. ECLAC, supra note 1 at 87–88.

76 Banco Central Do Brazil, Foreign Direct Investment in Brazil Report (Brasilia: Banco Central Do Brazil, 2018).

77 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, supra note 1 at 94.

78 An updated FTA was singed between China and Chile in 2017.

79 Carol WISE, “Playing Both Sides of the Pacific: Latin America's Free Trade Agreements with China” (2016) 89 Pacific Affairs 75.

80 Ibid., at 87–92.

81 Venezuela's membership was suspended in December 2016 for not meeting its legal obligations under the Mercosur agreement. The Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez expressed his hopes for signing a FTA with China via Mercosur. See “The Blossom and the Passion Flower, Taiwan's Long Relationship with Paraguay Continues to Pay Off” The Economist (19 July 2018), online: The Economist <https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2018/07/19/taiwans-long-relationship-with-paraguay-continues-to-pay-off>. Uruguay has also considered the possibility of signing a bilateral FTA with China. See Fermín KOOP, “Uruguay Seeks Alliance with China, Challenging Mercosur” Diálogo Chino (13 November 2018), online: Diálogo Chino <https://dialogochino.net/uruguay-seeks-alliance-with-china-challenging-mercosur/>.

82 Rolando AVENDAÑO and Jeff DAYTON-JOHNSON, “Central America, China and the US: What Prospects for Development?” (2015) 88 Pacific Affairs 813.

83 See, for example, Timothy RICH, “Can US Help Taiwan Keep Its Remaining Diplomatic Relations?” The Diplomat (30 May 2019), online: The Diplomat <https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/can-the-us-help-taiwan-keep-its-remaining-diplomatic-relationships/>; Benjamin GEDAN and Emma SARFITY, “Do We Have to Choose? Argentina's Growing Partnership with Beijing and Washington” Global Americans (31 July 2019), online: Global Americans <https://theglobalamericans.org/2019/07/do-we-have-to-choose-argentinas-growing-partnership-with-beijing-and-washington/>.

84 David CASTRILLON, “Colombia: China's New Amigo?” The Diplomat (14 May 2021), online: The Diplomat <https://thediplomat.com/2021/05/colombia-chinas-new-amigo/>.

85 The BIT with The Bahamas has not been ratified. China and Ecuador agreed on a BIT in 2015 but the agreement was terminated by Ecuador. Ecuador terminated another fifteen BITs, arguing that they breached constitutional provisions.

86 Zhongping FENG and Jing HUANG, “China's Strategic Partnership Diplomacy: Engaging with a Changing World” (1 June 2014), online: European Strategic Partnerships Observatory <https://www.egmontinstitute.be/content/uploads/2014/06/WP-ESPO-8-JUNE-2014.pdf?type=pdf>, 7.

87 Ibid.

88 WEN Jiabao, “Vigorously Promoting Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the European Union” (6 May 2004), online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China <https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/cebe/eng/zt/t101949.htm>.

89 Lanxin XIANG, “China Goes Geopolitical in its Strategic Partnerships with Latin America” in Riordan ROETT and Guadalupe PAZ, eds., Latin America and the Asian Giants (Washington: Brookings Institution, 2016), 65.

90 For a discussion of strategic partnerships see Feng and Huang, supra note 86; Georg STRÜVER, “Bereft of Friends? China's Rise and Search for Political Partners in South America” (2014) 7 Chinese Journal of International Politics 117; Yanran XU, China's Strategic Partnerships in Latin America (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017).

91 Chile was the second country in LAC that established diplomatic relations with China in 1970. It was also the first country in the region that recognised China's market status and signed an FTA with the Asian nation.

92 See Xiang, supra note 7. See also YU, Lei, “China's Strategic Partnership with Latin America: A Fulcrum in China's Rise” (2015) 91 International Affairs 1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

93 In the case of the CSP between the European Union and China, the joint statement published by the parties contains more information. See “Joint Statement; Deeping the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Mutual Benefit” Europa Nu (31 March 2014), online: Europa Nu <https://www.europa-nu.nl/id/vjijid3e27zy/nieuws/joint_statement_deepening_the_eu_china?ctx=vhtegr63m0n2&start_tab0=60>.

94 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People's Republic of China, “Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff” (22 June 2021), online: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People's Republic of China <https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/zzjg_663340/ldmzs_664952/gjlb_664956/3473_665008/3475_665012/201206/t20120626_594730.html>.

95 A copy of the Decennial Plan for Cooperation between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the People's Republic of China is available at: “Joint Action Plan between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the People's Republic of China 2015–2021” (2015), online: defesanet <https://www.defesanet.com.br/en/br_cn_e/noticia/19181/BR-CN---Joint-Action-Plan-BRAZIL-and-CHINA-2015-2021/>.

96 See China — Certain Measures Concerning Imports of Sugar, DS568 (2018).

97 Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, “The Belt and Road Progress, Contributions and Prospects” (22 April 2019), online: Office of the Leading Group <https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/zchj/qwfb/86739.htm>.

98 National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, “Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, March 2015” (10 April 2017), online: Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation <http://2017.beltandroadforum.org/english/n100/2017/0410/c22-45.html>.

99 WANG, Heng, “China's Approach to the Belt and Road Initiative: Scope, Character and Sustainability” (2019) 22 Journal of International Economic Law 29CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 31. See also Heng WANG, “The Belt and Road Initiative Agreements: Characteristics, Rationale and Challenges” (2021) 20 World Trade Review 282.

100 The State Council of the People's Republic of China, “Action Plan on the Belt and Road Initiative” (30 March 2015), online: The State Council of the People's Republic of China <http://english.www.gov.cn/archive/publications/2015/03/30/content_281475080249035.htm>.

101 Ibid.

102 Ricardo BARRIOS, “China's Belt and Road Lands in Latin America” China Dialogue (11 July 2018), online: China Dialogue <https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/10728-China-s-Belt-and-Road-lands-in-Latin-America>.

103 China-CELAC Forum, supra note 59.

104 China-Panama's memorandum of understanding is available at: “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Panama and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Cooperation within the Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative”, online: Ministerio de ReLAC iones Exteriores <https://mire.gob.pa/images/PDF/documentos%20y%20formularios/Acuerdoschina/RUTA%20DE%20LA%20SEDA.pdf>.

105 China-CELAC Forum, supra note 68.

106 State Council of the People's Republic of China, “China's International Development Cooperation in the New Era” (10 January 2021), online: State Council of the People's Republic of China, <http://www.scio.gov.cn/zfbps/32832/Document/1696686/1696686.htm>.

107 Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Panama have joined this initiative. US Department of State, “Growth in the Americas/FAQs” US Department of State (April 2021), online: US Department of State, <https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/FAQs-English-April-2020-508.pdf>.

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