During his visit to Latin America (Mexico and Panama) in late October, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned South American countries against the Chinese BRI project. He told them to carefully evaluate the Chinese offer and the possible competition and debts issues that it may create, according to him.
The US has launched its own infrastructure project, competing with the BRI and tries to convince other countries, especially Latin American states, that belong traditionally to the US sphere of influence, to opt for the US project.
Chile reaffirmed its willingness to increase trade with China. On November 1, 2018, Roberto Ampuero, the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that his country would soon join the BRI. China is already Chile’s largest trade partner. This trend is expected to accelerate as both countries have just signed new agreements, including one regarding customs control procedures. Chile also hopes to export more products to China, since the United States is becoming more protectionist.
Latin American states are not the only countries that expect a lot from the Chinese initiative. The whole world is interested in the BRI and sees in this project a way to get developed.
Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s trade minister, recently stated that the BRI was a positive contribution to world economy.