On March 5, Perry Center professor Dr. R. Evan Ellis made a guest appearance on The John Batchelor Show to speak about the recently announced “China-CELAC Forum” and Chinese engagement in Latin America more broadly.
The John Batchelor Show, a national news talk show launched in 2001, broadcasts four hours daily in four major radio markets.
Dr. Ellis spoke with John Batchelor and his co-host Gordon Chang regarding Chinese motives for pursuing commercial activities in Latin America. They also discussed potential challenges arising from that engagement, including labor and community relations, resistance to projects, difficulties with host governments, kidnapping, crime, and other security challenges, and the effort of the Chinese government to protect the interests of ethnic Chinese communities throughout the region. Dr. Ellis also spoke on China’s investment position in Venezuela and concerns by the Chinese government regarding its investments there, both during the 2013 transition of power following the death of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez and currently, as Venezuela becomes increasingly paralyzed by widespread social and political protests against the policies of the current socialist regime of that country.
That evening, Dr. Ellis was the featured dinner speaker at the Washington, DC chapter of the Ambassador’s Club, at the Diplomatic and Consular Officers residence (DACOR-Bacon House) in Washington DC. His talk, on “China’s Strategic Interest in Latin America,” was part of a lecture program sponsored by the Washington, DC chapter of the Ambassador’s Club and its president James Dandridge. The club provides a forum where senior active and retired diplomatic officials and other invited members can meet to share perspectives on important issues of the day.