China's tie with Latin America expands to security
Updated: 2014-10-25 22:23
By ZHANG FAN in Sao Paulo(China Daily USA)
China's tie with Latin American countries have exceeded from trade to security cooperation as China National Electronics Import& Export Corporation (CEIEC) is helping Local countries to build their national security control centers.
"We can say now, very proudly, that Ecuador is one of the most security countries in Latin America,"said Ecuadorian President Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado this September.
CEIEC, the state-owned company specialised in engineering and defence electronics, built an ECU-911 system for the Latin American country including two national centres, five regional centres and eight provincial command and control centres.
The project, initiated from 2011, aims to unify seven security departments of Ecuador including police system, transportation, fire control and medical treatment in order to better arrange rescue operations in limited reacting time.
By now, the system has helped the crime rate of Ecuador decreased by 24 percent, making it the fourth most security state in Latin America. According to the data from CEIEC, the system has deal 34 million emergency cases and saved over 8,000 lives.
The result helped CEIEC won the second contract from Ecuador last April with the total amount reached $42.69 million.
"The second project, with the last part of the second contract is still under construction, will work together with the first one and provide security services for 14 million people across the country," Wang Fei, head of CEIEC Ecuador branch office, told People's Daily recently.
Besides Ecuador, CEIEC also signed contracts with Venezuela and Bolivia last year in Beijing to build public and information security network for these countries.
Russian media reported this April that Venezuelan company Veximca CA also signed an agreements with CEIEC to import 26 radars and 11 control stations, with the specific information remains unrevealed.
Gilmar Masiero, a professor with the Asian Studies program at the University of Sao Paulo, said the cooperations show that Latin American countries have the necessity of improving their security conditions and the cooperation with China is one of the better choices.
"There is a strong pressure for Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela facing the security problems," said Masiero,"I think to have a common security agenda for South America is important. According to my sources, these countries are discussing the issue at Union of South American Nations."
However, China's increasing participants in Latin American countries aroused certain considerations from the region's traditional cooperators, especially the United States.
Forbes.com, an American leading business website owned by Forbes Inc, recently published a story arguing that the US is losing its influence in Latin America to China.
"Time is running out. China has quickly become the largest trading partner for many South American nations and Chinese trade deals are much more amenable to Latin Americans," the article quoted America's Quarterly.
"This kind of articles became more common as soon as China became a member of the World Trade Organisation(WTO). Though after 14 years development, the trade and investment of China in this region did flow like skyrocket in the past 14 years but the amount is still too small to cause worries for US or Europe,"said Maiero.
As the data of WTO shows, US remains the largest trade partner in Latin America with $850 billion combined in 2013 which China only enjoys $244 billion in 2012.
"Though the growth rate of China in the region is significant, and the fields are more diversified, there is still a gap between China and the US, even the European countries. China is still new in Latin America and challenges remain large for all these companies," said Zhou Xinyu, a researcher at Beijing Foreign Studies University.