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Reply #10: Or, Why Hugo Chavez's Chinese Energy Gambit Matters [View All]

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CorpGovActivist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Or, Why Hugo Chavez's Chinese Energy Gambit Matters
Hugo Chavez has adroitly aligned himself with the Chinese, and vice versa:

Many of the non-aligned nations look at China as the premiere country that has emerged from the shadow of Western imperialism, reclaimed control over its own natural resources, and restored the lustre of its cultural soft power (e.g., the upcoming Olympics, the growing Chinese movie industry, its cuisine's ubiquity, etc.). That shared experience - the period of exploitation by Western powers - gives these countries a shared vocabulary that transcends religious and cultural differences.

As more nations in Central and South America cozy up to China, I always look for one key aspect in these treaties and trade agreements: namely, the educational exchanges.

When Beijing's state-run media welcomes Latin American students (read: future leaders), at the same time that American airwaves are filled with anti-immigrant rhetoric, I worry that the message those college students take away is that America is fearful of their ascendancy, while China is willing to share its own experiences as a path to success and prosperity.

In short, if/when we reach the tipping point of more Latin American expat students choosing Beijing over Boston for their studies abroad, we'll have reached a key inflection point in our "soft power" projection:

"The Times World University Rankings in 2006 rated Peking University as the best university in Asia, and ranked 14th in the world."

- Dave
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