Mexico’s recent decision to cancel a high-speed rail contract with the China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) is the latest example of the unsettled relationship between two of the largest emerging economies. In an email interview, Matt Ferchen, associate professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing and resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, discussed China’s economic ties with Mexico.
WPR: How have Mexico’s economic relations with China developed in recent years, particularly since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001?
Matt Ferchen: The takeoff in China-Latin America commercial and diplomatic relations began just about a decade ago in response to booming Chinese demand for the region’s commodities. Chilean copper, Brazilian iron ore, Argentine soybeans and Venezuelan oil were all flowing to China to feed Chinese industry and consumers.