Is Chinese Army In Mexico

China-Mexico Ties

China and Mexico have forged strong ties due to their geographical proximity and mutual economic interests. Over the years, the two countries have established diplomatic, economic and trade relationships to increase access to markets and resources. In 2019, President Xi Jinping visited Mexico City and he and the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, agreed to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

The Chinese government and state-owned enterprises have since made significant investments in Mexico, particularly in infrastructure, real estate, energy and tourism. As of 2019, China has become the second largest foreign investor in Mexico, surpassed only by the United States. This shift in investments may be attributed to the efforts of both governments to draw closer economic ties.

China’s involvement in Mexico has spawned a variety of reactions from both the public and the private sectors. While there is general agreement that Mexico could benefit from technological and financial investments from China, there is also worry about the potential for unwanted influence on Mexico’s sovereignty, policymaking, and access to resources. This concern of potential geopolitical domination has prompted questions among Mexican citizens and some political parties about the Chinese army in Mexico.

Chinese Military Presence in Mexico

The idea of Chinese military forces in Mexico may seem far-fetched, but it is not out of the question. In 2019, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense signed a defense cooperation agreement with Mexico which allows for exchanges of high-ranking military personnel and joint exercises. Although the agreement does not state that there will be Chinese military personnel in Mexico, some experts speculate that a small number of Chinese soldiers may already be present in order to help the Mexican government protect strategic infrastructure projects.

In addition, the already established cooperation between China and Mexico could open the door for increasing military cooperation. The two countries announced joint efforts in the realm of space exploration in 2019 and that same year, the Chinese defense minister visited Mexico and discussed establishing closer ties. Such discussions could pave the way for increased military collaboration between the two countries.

At the same time, Mexico is one of the largest buyer of US arms. In 2019, the US was the destination of nearly $2 billion worth of Mexican arms purchases, out of total arms imports of $2.22 billion. This argues against the likelihood of Chinese armed forces in Mexico in the near future.

China’s Interest in Mexico

China’s main interest in Mexico is to increase its economic and political influence in the region. By investing in infrastructure, real estate, and tourism, China can gain access to resources and markets in Mexico, as well as for the rest of Latin America. China also sees Mexico as a potential partner in efforts to balance US influence in the region.

China will also benefit from increased military ties with Mexico. Through agreements like that of 2019, China can test new weapons systems and military strategies. Moreover, China might gain leverage against the US by having another country in Latin America that is willing to work with China against US interests. Some analysts also think that having a permanent presence in Mexico would give China greater access to US intelligence.

US Reaction to China-Mexico Ties

The US has sought to limit China’s activities in Mexico, especially regarding military and intelligence matters. In 2019, US officials raised alarm over a defense agreement between China and Mexico and issues statements encouraging Mexico to remain militarily independent. US officials have also argued that increased collaboration between China and Mexico will have repercussions for US interests in the region.

At the same time, Mexico is a key US ally and the US sees itself as a partner in Mexico’s development. Thus, the US has generally sought to support Mexican efforts to develop its own defense capabilities rather than seeking to limit Mexico’s collaboration with China.

Conclusion – Is Chinese Army in Mexico?

There is no evidence to suggest that the Chinese army is present in Mexico. China has, however, made a number of investments in Mexico, from infrastructure to military ties. Mexico’s purchase of arms from the US suggests that the Mexican government is unlikely to allow the presence of Chinese armed forces on its soil in the near future. The US has sought to limit Chinese activities in Mexico to prevent a shift in the balance of power in the region.

US-China Proxy Conflicts

While it may seem unlikely that Chinese armed forces will have a direct presence in Mexico, US-China proxy conflicts are increasingly likely to be fought in the country. The US and China have been competing for influence in the region, either directly or through their respective allies. Through economic agreements and investments, China has been attempting to extend its reach in Latin America. In regions where there are weak governments, such as Mexico, China’s influence is especially problematic for the US. One way to check China’s influence is to fund and support local political actors that advocate for US interests.

At the same time, China has leverage in Mexico through state-owned enterprises and ties with government officials. Mexico’s government has sought to balance between US and Chinese interests and has received investment from both countries. However, China’s access to natural resources and its close ties with the Mexican government make it an attractive partner for Mexican officials.

China’s economic and political influence in Mexico has provoked alarm among US officials who fear that China’s efforts to expand its influence in Latin America could have repercussions for US interests in the region. US-China proxy conflicts are thus likely to continue being fought out in Mexico and other parts of Latin America in the future.

Mexican Reactions to China-US Rivalry

The Mexican public’s reactions to the increasing rivalry between China and the US are mixed. On the one hand, most Mexicans recognize the benefits of increased foreign investment. In particular, the investments from Chinese firms have been welcomed by many in Mexico, as they often lead to the creation of jobs and increased economic activity. At the same time, there are worries about the strings attached to Chinese investments, such as increasing debt levels. There is also a general concern about the potentially negative impact of US-China rivalry on Mexico.

To address these worries, the Mexican government has sought to remain neutral in the US-China rivalry. While the government has sought to draw closer economic ties with China, it has also kept lines of communication open with the US. This neutrality has so far been successful in preventing the US-China rivalry from spilling over into Mexico.

What Does the Future Hold?

The future of US-China proxy conflicts in Mexico is still uncertain. While the Mexican government has taken steps to remain neutral, the interests of both China and the US are likely to clash in the country. The increased presence of Chinese firms and investments has been a boon for Mexico’s economy, but there is also worry about potential Chinese meddling in Mexican politics. On the other hand, the US wants to prevent China from expanding its influence in the region, which could have repercussions for US interests.

Any further escalation of tensions between the US and China could have a significant impact on Mexico. As the economic and political ties between Mexico and China deepen, the US-China proxy rivalry could become more entrenched in the Mexican political landscape.

Mexico-China Collaborations

In recent years, Mexico and China have increased their collaboration in several areas. For example, in 2019, the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei announced that it would work with Mexican universities and government agencies in the realm of robotics and other technologies. Mexico has also opened its doors to Chinese companies in the renewable energy and aerospace sectors.

The two countries have also strengthened their ties in the cultural realm. In 2019, China and Mexico announced the creation of a Cultural and Educational Centre, which seeks to promote the exchange of students, scholars and knowledge between the two countries. This initiative is expected to further strengthen Mexico’s ties to China, as well as boost its presence in the region.

Finally, Mexico has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists. In the first half of 2019, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Mexico increased by 24%. This influx of Chinese tourists has led to increased economic activity and job creation in Mexico and is likely to remain a key issue in the relationship between Mexico and China.

Letha Wimmer is a military expert with more than a decade of direct experience in the U.S. Army and National Guard. She specializes in researching and writing about the world's armies and their capabilities, equipment, capabilities, strategies, organizations, and operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation from Middle Tennessee State University as well as an Aerial Firefighting Certificate and numerous other advanced aviation certifications. She also enjoys traveling to distant lands to gain firsthand knowledge about their military forces and has written extensively for various websites on the subject.

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