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Tillerson sounds alarm over China's influence in Latin America

Tillerson deplanes after arriving in Bariloche, Argentina. Photo: DAVE CLARK/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of his visit this week to South America, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been warning about the rising influence of China and Russia in the region. "Latin America doesn't need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people,” he said last week.

The big picture: China is now the top trading partner of Brazil, the region’s largest economy, as well as Argentina and Peru, the two South American stops on Tillerson’s trip. Last month in Chile, Tillerson’s Chinese counterpart announced further plans to invest in Latin America, as part of China’s massive Belt and Road initiative.