A BYD car-carrier ship.

Last year, Chinese automaker BYD clinched a deal to take over Ford Motor’s factory in Bahia, Brazil, after Ford decided to withdraw from the Brazilian market. BYD is already the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles, and the move into Brazil is an effort to further consolidate its early conquest of EV markets in the Global South.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A common understanding of why U.S.-China relations have cratered since the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump is that the world’s two largest economies had gone from being complementary to being increasingly competitive and zero-sum. But even in this economic relationship, there are still ways to find common ground.


Recent setbacks for two major Chinese projects in Latin America are likely music to U.S. policymakers’ ears and could point to the quiet diplomacy of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden paying off in key areas of concern. How Beijing reacts to these setbacks will shape its future relations with Latin America.