Joanne Birdwhistell, Discussion Leader
Thursday, February 13,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
“China and Latin America” will be the fourth in the 2020 ASA series of discussions based on materials prepared by the non-partisan Foreign Policy Association (FPA). Now in its second century, this nonprofit was formed “to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues.” For each of our eight 90-minute sessions, an Academy Village resident will summarize the issue to be discussed based on briefing material in the Great Decisions Briefing Book and his/her own research, show a short video provided by the FPA, and lead a group discussion.
This session will be moderated by Dr. Joanne Birdwhistell, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Asian Civilization at Stockton University, NJ. An Academy Village resident and ASA member, she specializes in Chinese history, culture, and philosophy; she presented a lecture on China at ASA this past November.
This session examines China’s increasing involvement in Latin America, especially since the 1990s. China’s relationships with numerous Latin American countries entail economic, political, cultural, financial, social, and environmental aspects. Trade in commodities, the extraction of natural resources, infrastructure construction, the establishment of agro-industrial supply chains, and the development of cultural institutes and relations are all examples of China’s “going-out strategy” from 1999 and its Belt and Road Initiative since 2013. China’s long-range planning and global focus make it imperative that the U.S. rethink its current short-sighted interests and narrow focus, if it wants to counter China’s expanding “sphere of influence” in Latin America and engage with Latin American countries in a positive way.