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Turning tides: Chinese cash flows into Latin America

China's stake in Latin America
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

In January 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a lofty declaration: China would trade $500 billion in goods with Latin America over the next five years, and provide $250 billion in direct investment. Not long ago those targets would have seemed ludicrous, but based on the current trends they're not out of the question.

The big picture: The Monroe Doctrine is running up against the Xi Reality in Latin America as China has now surpassed the U.S. as the leading trading partner of several South American countries, including Brazil, and stepped up investments in the region dramatically at a time when U.S. engagement is on the wane.