China joined the Inter-American Development Bank, contributing $350 million as Beijing expands its influence in the region.
China plans to help fund a number of initiatives to help Latin American countries cope with the global financial crisis and economic slowdown, including $125 million for the IDB’s special operations fund that lends to the poorest countries.
China became the 48th member of the development bank, and is the third from East Asia, following Japan and South Korea.
In part to secure the commodities needed to fuel its growing economy, China has emerged as the second-biggest trading partner with Latin America and the Caribbean. Chinese trade with the region stood at $110 billion in 2007, according to the IDB.
About $75 million of the new funding will be used to create a multidonor fund to strengthen countries’ institutional capacity, while similar amounts will be used to create funds to help the poor and for small and midsize companies.
Interestingly, China’s influence overseas increases while also interior tensions are on the rise.
Prior post: China sneezes; will Latin America catch a cold?
Other posts on China here.