China’s resource development in South America is “unstoppable”


As China continues to expand its influence investment, Bolivia, Peru, some locals in Ecuador, Pushed back And he opposes emerging investment partners on the issue of abuse and pollution.

Bolivia to Chinese government 49% stake In 2019, there were $ 2.3 billion in transactions with the world’s largest lithium reserves.

Between 2010 and 2019, China invested $ 79.2 million in Ecuador to acquire mining rights and secured a $ 80 million project to grant them. Oil rights At Amazon.

In Peru of the world Second largest Copper Producers, China’s Investment in Mining Sector Represents $ 15 billion.

Despite these large cash injections, there is a significant lack of investment in communities and infrastructure, which Latin American analyst Fernando Menendez calls “Imperialism with Chinese characteristics.” ..

Complex relationships

Deep in Bolivia’s Pantanal, China has hooked up another important investment. World’s largest Iron deposits in the mountains of Elmtun.

Former Socialist President Evo Morales awarded Chinese company Sinosteel $ 546 One million Resumed project This year After a series of delays, companies have not made significant progress since 2017.

In nearby Puerto Suarez, a collection of heavy equipment is loaded onto trucks awaiting transport down the dirt road leading to Elmtun.

Trucks are a happy opportunity for locals to see trucks as an opportunity for a brighter future at Sinosteel.

Epoch Times Photo
Truck equipment awaiting delivery to Elmtun on December 8, 2021. (Cesar Calani / The Epoch Times)

“Other companies have tried before [to excavate] And they were either kicked out or couldn’t get the iron, “Desiderio Montano told The Epoch Times.

China was not the first country to try to take advantage of Bolivia’s iron cash.

The Indian company Jindal succumbed to a contract with the Morales administration. In 2007, And that Brazilian costume EBX He was banished in 2006 by the same government for attempting to illegally access mineral reserves.

Montano says Sinosteel’s arrival is a blessing thanks to his work and infrastructure and will be brought to Puerto Suarez and nearby Puerto Suarez.

However, Menendez points out that there is a clear pattern in China’s investment in South America. They are strictly limited to the scope of the project and have not invested anything in the community beyond the scope of their profits.

“It’s a way to make it look like a paved road in the middle of where there are few or no civilians. They invest very little, but it costs a lot,” he said. I told the Epoch Times.

When it comes to working together, Bolivian people have a love-hate relationship with China.

In the vast salt fields, China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region TBEA Group employs local workers for the most difficult jobs that require long hours at very high altitudes for a small wage.

In town from 12,000 feet or more away of Uyuni, a local man named Miguel Flores is the epoch Times, said to have one of the better job than working in lithium company in China.

“I am a driver and have been working for 7 days. [straight] Before taking the next seven days off, “he said.

Flores says being a driver is better than working in other parts of the extraction project, but he still spends 12 hours.

“Mine people work longer and get less reward for more difficult things [physical] jobs. “

Flores admits that working in China is not ideal, but there are few options for stable employment in remote towns crouching on the edge of Bolivia’s Salt Flats.

He is also not the first person to describe unjustified conditions and compensation.

Epoch Times Photo
Bolivian Shiobara near the mining work of the Xinjiang TBEA Group in China on October 26, 2021. (Cesar Calani / The Epoch Times)

2019, Video surfaced A change between a Bolivian road worker and a Chinese foreman.

The battle broke out after the foreman tried to overrun Bolivian workers with a bulldozer because he refused to work.

Union representative of Central Obrera Departamental de Cochabamba Said Workers, because it did not receive payment for work has been performed for 3 days strike at the scene of Buroburo.

After that, the foreman tried to crush the workers with heavy machinery. As a result, locals swarmed bulldozers, pulled the foreman out, and beat him.

I hear Bolivian people yelling “Go back to your country” [expletive]When a member of the Chinese management team tried to rescue the foreman.

In the same video, the worker shouts, “He tried to kill us!”

Bolivian economics scholar Eduardo Hoffman told The Epoch Times that China is undoubtedly trying to foster a totalitarian regime outside the border.

It takes the village

In Ecuador, an indigenous Huaorani village has sued PetroOriental, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Air pollution Their community was suffering as a result of oil mining in Block 14.

Like neighbors in Bolivia and Ecuador, the Peruvian community Counterattack For Chinese companies.

2019 protesters set fire At the offices of Compipetrol and CNPC during a labor protest in the town of El Alto, Talara.

The incident occurred after Chinese management refused to demand better working conditions, along with a live broadcast of the conference, during negotiations with Peruvian workers.

The rejected complaints caused a violent reaction from the workers, urging CNPC staff to flee the premises.

In 2012, Chinese mining company Chinalco evacuated 5,000 people To build a mine from the town of Morococha in Junin Province, which is part of the Central Highlands of Peru.

Most residents were forcibly relocated, but until December 2018, when Chinalco tried to demolish what remained in the town, including the homes where people still live, 65 families resisted eviction. did.

“Unstoppable” power?

“Their influence is too great to stop now,” Hoffman said, saying that the economics and politics of Chinese transactions in Latin America can no longer be separated.

In addition, he says China’s large consumer base has encouraged them to be more active in their production efforts.

Menendez added that the Latin American government’s unplanned and short-sighted deal with China was due to the improper treatment of locals and their short-sighted attitude toward the environment.

“They have taken this approach with large power players that have been thinking for centuries,” he said.

“People who monetize checks are not thinking strategically.”

Epoch Times Photo
Heavy equipment at the Elm Tun project site on December 8, 2021. (CesarCalani / The Epoch Times)
Autumn Spredemann