Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

International Politics and Political Science, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Yi Feng

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jacek Kugler

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Melissa Rogers

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Bing Xu


China's aid, China's contracts, China's economic engagement, Latin America and the Caribbean, political influence, the voting affinity with China in the UNGA

Subject Categories

Economics | International Relations | Political Science


China’s economic presence in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has rapidly grown since the new millennium. The following question is whether China’s increasing economic engagement with LAC has promoted China’s political influence in the region, which has long been treated as the backyard of the US. This research is the first attempt to answer the question by investigating the direction and magnitude of the effects of China’s economic engagement represented by five primary forms: China’s aid, imports from China, exports to China, China’s contracts, and China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), on political influence, as measured by the voting affinity with China in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in a sample of 26 LAC countries from 2000 through 2015. Through rigorously selected and tested Random Effects Regression Models, the statistical results suggest that China’s aid and China’s OFDI have a positive and significant effect on political influence. However, both magnitudes are considerably small; meanwhile, imports from China, exports to China, and China’s contracts are statistically insignificant. Finally, this study confirms that no substantive relationship exists between China’s economic engagement and political influence in LAC. Instead, from 2000 to 2015, China’s economic engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean primarily aimed at and succeeded in its economic interests for rich natural resources to boost China’s economy and marvelous markets for China’s manufactured goods, contract capabilities, and investment destinations.