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December 1, 2023

Great Power Competition in the Americas

Event Series: China and the Global South

Showing the Great Power Competition in the Americas Video

Over the past two decades, China’s role in the geopolitical landscape of the Western Hemisphere has grown, as has its economic footprint across the region. U.S. leaders have come to see the evolution of Chinese influence in the Americas as a challenge deserving a policy response. U.S.-China competition is a new reality for governments across the hemisphere. What is at stake for Latin America in the context of U.S.-China relations? How is China’s presence in Latin America reverberating in the United States, and what are the main implications for U.S. policy in the hemisphere? To what extent is China’s diplomatic and political footprint shaping domestic politics in Latin American countries? 

The Georgetown Americas Institute welcomed Oliver Stuenkel, associate professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo; Parsifal D’Sola, founder and executive director of the Fundación Andres Bello; and Cynthia Sanborn, professor of political science at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, for a conversation with Margaret Myers, director of the Asia and Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue, on the great power competition of China and the United States in the Americas. 

This event was sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute and the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues.

This event was streamed on our YouTube channel


Oliver Stuenkel is a political analyst, speaker, and a professor at the School of International Relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) in São Paulo. He is also a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, a columnist for Estado de São Paulo and Americas Quarterly, and a regular commentator for BBC. His research focuses on geopolitics and global order, Brazilian foreign policy, Latin American politics and emerging powers. Stuenkel is the author of several books about geopolitics, including The BRICS and the Future of Global Order (2015) and Post-Western World: How Emerging Powers Are Remaking Global Order (2016). He holds a B.A. from the Universidad de Valencia in Spain, a master in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

Parsifal D’Sola is the founder and executive director of the Fundación Andres Bello. He specializes in Sino-Latin American relations with a focus on Venezuela. D’Sola is a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub. Between 2019 and 2020, he acted as Chinese foreign policy advisor to the foreign affairs minister of the interim government of Venezuela. He lived in Beijing between 2008 and 2016 where he worked as communications manager for the news agency China Files. He holds a B.S. in telecommunications engineering from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, an M.A. in East Asian studies from Columbia University, and an M.Sc. in international politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University.

Cynthia Sanborn is a professor of political science at the Universidad del Pacífico. She has previously been vice president for research and director of a think tank, Centro de Investigación de la Universidad del Pacífico, at the same university. Sanborn has written and edited articles and books on issues related to Peruvian and international politics and development, corporate social responsibility, and the extractive industries. Her most recent work has focused on the socio-environmental and political impacts of Chinese investment in Latin America. Sanborn is a member of the Working Group on Development and the Environment in the Americas, based at Boston University, and has previously been the William Henry Bloomberg visiting professor at Harvard University. Sanborn received her Ph.D. and M.A. in government from Harvard University and her B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago.

Margaret Myers is director of the Asia and Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue, adjunct researcher with the Núcleo Milenio sobre los Impactos de China en América Latina (ICLAC), and a senior advisor to the United States Institute of Peace. Myers developed the China-Latin America Finance Database, the only publicly available source of empirical data on Chinese state lending in Latin America, in cooperation with the Global China Initiative at Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. In addition to maintaining the Inter-American Dialogue’s China and Latin America and 美洲对话 blogs, Myers has published numerous articles on Chinese leadership dynamics, international capital flows, Chinese agricultural policy, and Asia-Latin America relations, among other topics. Before arriving at the Inter-American Dialogue, Myers worked as a Latin America analyst and China analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, during which time she was deployed with the U.S. Navy in support of Partnership of the Americas. Myers received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and conducted her graduate work at the George Washington University, Zhejiang University of Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University/Nanjing University Center for Chinese-American Studies.