China’s increasing presence in Latin America and the Caribbean: What are the implications for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the EU?

Cover photo: © : Miren Zubizarreta
Cover photo: © : Miren Zubizarreta

Location: The Clingendael Institute, Clingendael 7, 2597 VH The Hague

Organiser: Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation, CEDLA-UvA

Far away from the new Cold War on European soil, Latin American and Caribbean countries are faced with crucial decisions. How do they shape the future of their societies, and importantly, which external actors do they trust to help them? For the region the challenge is more complex than a simple contrast between Chinese economic power and US and European values. This complexity is visible on both sides of the equation. On the one hand, the Chinese economic involvement does not necessarily or consistently threaten democratic values in the region and, on the other, US (and European) involvement does not necessarily always bring respect for human rights and democracy.  

What is the nature of the increasing presence of China in the LAC region, and what are the implications for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the EU and also the US? This question is central to the research project that CEDLA has done for the China Knowledge Network (funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence). In three reports, these key dimensions are scrutinized:  

  1. China’s economic and political role in Latin America  

  2. China’s economic and political role in the Caribbean and Central America 

  3. China's engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean: Geopolitical challenges and the role of the EU 

On 9 September we will discuss important findings and policy recommendations with scholars, policy-makers and civil society, moderated by journalist Edwin Koopman. Please register here. For questions:  


13:00 – 13:30 Arrival with coffee and tea


13:30 – 13:45 Introduction & Presentation 

  • Yvette van Eechoud, Min. of Foreign Affairs 
  • Michiel Baud, CEDLA-UvA 

13:45 – 14:30 Roundtable 1: China in the Caribbean Basin – Between Risk and Opportunity for the KNL (Report 2) 

  • Jorien Wuite, Member of Parliament, D66 
  • Rubén González-Vicente, Univ. of Birmingham 
  • Gert Oostindie, Univ. Leiden & KITLV 
  • Heleen Schrooyen, NIMD 

14:30 – 14:50 Q&A 


14:50 – 15:15   Coffee & tea break 


15:15 – 16:00 Roundtable 2: How can Dutch & EU policies address China’s growing influence in LAC? (Reports 1 & 3) 

  • Frans-Paul van der Putten, Clingendael
  • Jan Klink, Member of Parliament, VVD
  • Maurice van Beers, CNV Internationaal
  • Barbara Hogenboom, CEDLA-UvA 

16:00-16:20   Q&A


16:20 - 16:30  Closing words 

  • Marc Moquette, Min. of Foreign Affairs 

16:30 Drinks 

Clingendael Institute, Clingendael 7, 2597 VH The Hague

Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation

Since its creation in 1964, the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), hosted by the University of Amsterdam, has promoted Latin American Studies in the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. We do this by conducting and stimulating relevant and original research on developments in Latin America and distributing the results of this research internationally via academic education at BA, MA and PhD levels. Based on a long history of multi-disciplinary research and studies in the fields of both Social Sciences and Humanities (including cultural anthropology, history, political science, human geography, sociology and economics), we increasingly apply interdisciplinary approaches in our projects and education.