2024, Vol. 7, Issue 1

Perspectives of the Belt and Road Initiative for Strengthening Regional Economies in Brazil: The Case of Goiás

Aline Regina Alves Martins, Kaillany Azevedo Batista & Letícia Miyashiro Cazorla Barbosa
This article aims to analyze the extent to which Brazil's formal participation in the Belt and Road Initiative contributes to the enhancement of the agricultural sector in Goiás, the third largest grain producer and a major exporter in Brazil. Situated in the heart of the country, Goiás ranks eighth among Brazilian exporters and holds the second position in soybean exports. The majority of Goiás' Gross Domestic Product is derived from agribusiness, with China serving as its primary market for agricultural products, accounting for 46.28% of Goiás' total exports in 2021. Considering Brazil's status as the primary recipient of Chinese investments in Latin America, the Belt and Road Initiative presents a significant opportunity for Goiás to bolster its infrastructure, logistics, and technological capabilities for the production and distribution of its products. Furthermore, it provides a platform for diversifying the range of products exported to China, aligning with Goiás' internal economic strategy. The research will employ documentary and bibliographical analysis, supplemented by primary data extracted from ComexStat—a ministerial system for consulting data on Brazilian foreign trade.

The Implications of Chinese Investment on Latin America's Energy Transition

Douglas de Castro
China's dominance in molding Latin America's energy environment is highlighted by massive investment methods that have left a particular stamp on the energy sector. Previously, investments favored fossil fuels; but, due to China's worldwide commitments and environmental imperatives, there has been a significant movement toward renewable sources in recent years. The implications of Chinese investment in Latin America's energy transition are examined in this article, which examines their diverse effects. The research goes beyond economic consequences such as capital infusion and infrastructure growth to include social elements such as worker development, community participation, and equitable benefit distribution. In the midst of an urgent climate catastrophe, the environmental factor involves careful assessment; Chinese investment in renewables, from wind farms to hydroelectric ventures, offers opportunities for ecological restoration but requires careful balancing to prevent any trade-offs. Chinese investment has considerably influenced Latin America's renewable trajectory, enabling large-scale projects that accord with sustainability aspirations. This article, anchored by the concept of a just transition and degrowth navigates the junction of Chinese investment and Latin America's energy evolution, balancing economic growth, social fairness, and environmental stewardship. The study uses the representative cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.

The Dispute Between the United States and China and its Implications for Brazil in the Domains of Security and Defense

Paulo Roberto da Silva Gomes Filho
China has had substantial growth in recent decades, with a primary emphasis on economic development accompanied by significant progress in other sectors including the military, scientific-technological, and psychosocial spheres. This phenomenon has emerged amid the backdrop of structural transformations in the global landscape, resulting in the reevaluation, adjustments, and responses of many nations. The response of the United States to the heightened involvement of China has been of considerable importance within the given framework. The aforementioned reaction has had wide-ranging implications and outcomes within the global framework, and Brazil is not exempt from its effects. Brazil has been obligated to address the ripple effects and implications arising from the conflicts between these two prominent global powers. The primary aim of this essay is to examine the consequences that Brazil may face as a result of the continuous strategic rivalry between the United States and China, with a specific focus on the domains of security and defense.

Foreign States’ Responses to RMB Internationalization: An Analysis of the Brazilian Case

Luiza Peruffo; André Moreira Cunha & Julimar da Silva Bichara
This article brings to the fore the role of interstate politics in the process of currency internationalization, investigating to what extent Brazilian policies have supported China to establish the RMB as an international currency. Brazil is a relevant case-study because it has helped to build the narrative about the need of reforming the international monetary and financial system (IMFS) away from dollar dominance, particularly since the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The analysis of the Brazilian experience suggests that Brazil’s growing economic dependence on China created the context for the development of policies that favor the internationalization of the RMB. Among them, there can be highlighted: (i) the inclusion of the RMB in Brazil’s international reserves from 2019 onwards; (ii) the accession of Bocom BBM to CIPS in 2023; and (iii) the establishment of the ICBC as the RMB clearing house in Brazil in 2023, putting Brazil on the track to create a RMB Offshore Center in the coming years. These policies do not appear to be part of a conscious strategy to support China or the internationalization of the RMB, but rather a result of the economic influence that China increasingly exercises over Brazil.

Chinese Involvement in the Lithium Triangle: Determinants and Implications

Carlos Ungaretti
This article examines the investments and activities of Chinese companies and entities in the so-called "Lithium Triangle." It aims to describe these involvements, identify the main determinants and motivations behind this presence, and discuss some implications. The "Lithium Triangle" encompasses a vast region that includes Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, known for their rich lithium reserves, a vital mineral for the production of batteries used in electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and other green technologies. This article will analyze the main Chinese investments in the lithium sector in the region, including mine acquisitions, stakes in local companies, and cooperation agreements with South American governments. The determinants of these investments will be discussed, such as the need for supply security, control over emerging production chains, and the global expansion strategy of Chinese companies. Furthermore, some implications of this process will be presented, including its geopolitical reverberations and the challenges and opportunities for the involved South American countries.

Sustainable Urban Mobility Policies: A Comparative Analysis of Challenges and Incentives for Electricity-Powered Transportation in Brazil and China

Vivian Daniele Rocha Gabriel & Gabriela Ritondaro Galvão
Energy transition is present in all public policies today, especially in the context of the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda, catalyzed by the high population concentration and the need to mitigate climate change. An alternative to this reduction is the electrification of urban transport, in which China is a pioneer and has been serving as an example for Brazil. The question raised in the article is which effective public policies have been adopted by Brazil and China for the electrification of their transport sector and how Brazil could learn with the Chinese regulatory experience. To answer this question, it will discuss the commitments assumed by both countries for the urban transport electrification (centered in buses) aiming at environmental sustainability. Firstly, it will analyze the urban mobility policies adopted at the federal and municipal level, focused in two of the biggest cities of the world: São Paulo and Shenzhen. The aim is to explore the context of the rise of sustainable urban mobility involving buses, and what are the legal measures adopted in the countries; secondly, it will be examined the impacts of electric transport on the energy system and its challenges; and, finally, the lessons learned by Brazil based on the Chinese experience will be addressed. The methodology will involve the analysis of doctrine, official documents, and systematization of the Brazilian and Chinese legislation.

Continuities and Changes: Tracing the Evolution of Brazil-China Relations from the Cardoso Era to Lula's Third Term (1995-2023)

Alexandre Ramos Coelho
This paper examines the evolution of Brazil's foreign policy towards China from the era of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002) through to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's third term (2022-present). It explores the varying dynamics of this bilateral relationship under different Brazilian administrations, highlighting the key aspects and shifts in policy. The Cardoso era initiated Brazil's engagement with China, focusing on globalization and technological cooperation. The Lula administration (2003-2011) saw the rise of the BRICS nations and a diversified foreign policy, intensifying Brazil-China relations amidst complex political and trade challenges. Under President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016), the focus shifted towards science, technology, and culture, with a nuanced approach to China. Despite industrial challenges, Michel Temer's presidency (2016-2018) marked a return to economic strengthening in China. The Bolsonaro era (2019-2022) was characterized by ideological alignment with the United States, affecting Brazil-China relations with political tensions and economic pragmatism, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Lula's third term (2022-present), it has seen a reinvigoration and intensification of bilateral cooperation, enhancing economic, environmental, and technological partnerships. The paper concludes by highlighting the resilience and institutional consistency in Brazil-China relations, which have remained crucial for continued bilateral cooperation, irrespective of the changing political landscape in Brazil.