Chile country brief - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Chile – People's Republic of China relations officially began on 15 December Having one of the older trading relationships of South America with China, Chile is extending its trade into that of human capital. Chile has welcomed . On closer examination, China's relationship with Chile has multiple elements that distinguish it from its relationship with others in Latin America. Historically, relations between East Asia and Latin America have been weak, Chinese laborers arrived in countries such as Cuba, Peru, and Chile in the 19th.
Roman Catholicism is the main religion 67 per cent with other Christian groups 17 per cent and no-religion 12 per cent the main minorities. Spanish is the official language.
The conflict grew out of a dispute between Chile and Bolivia to control part of the Atacama Desert, an area considered to contain valuable mineral resources. A truce was ultimately drawn between Chile and Bolivia, following defeat and loss of life, in which control of the Bolivian Coast was given to Chile. This arrangement was made permanent in In modern times, the armed forces, under the leadership of General Augusto Pinochet, staged a coup on 11 Septemberoverthrowing the left-wing government of Salvador Allende.
President Allende died in the Presidential Palace on the same day. The military junta suspended the constitution, dissolved congress, imposed strict censorship and banned all political parties.
Chile–United States relations
In DecemberChile returned to democracy, with Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin winning the presidential election. System of government Under Chile's constitution, the president, as head of state, serves a four-year term and is unable to serve a second consecutive term. In the bicameral congress, Chile's Chamber of Deputies and Senate have and 38 elected members respectively.
Deputies sit in office for four years, while Senators are elected to serve an eight-year period. The Pacific Alliance economic integration process, covering goods, services, people and capital, offers potential economic opportunities beyond Chile's current bilateral FTAs with these countries. For example, Pacific Alliance members have integrated their stock exchanges to form the second-largest stock exchange in Latin America. Chile has maintained consular, but not diplomatic relations with Bolivia since and the War of the Pacific, which has led to a long-term border dispute.
Bolivia has sought to regain a coastline, including by bringing a claim against Chile before the International Court of Justice ICJ in Hearings on whether the ICJ had jurisdiction in the matter commenced in May The case is currently before the Court. On 27 Januarythe ICJ issued its final judgment over a longstanding maritime border dispute between Chile and Peru.
Despite requiring Chile to cede territory, both countries have agreed to abide by the ruling in what some see as a cause for optimism regarding bilateral relations between the two nations. Chile served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council during the periods,and China is Chile's largest trading partner. Chile's trade focus in Asia is supported by a growing list of free trade agreements and investment treaties, including with China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
Chile has strong political, economic and trade relations with the United States US. Both are among the countries negotiating the Plurilateral Services Agreement. Both countries also share common interests in regional and global issues ranging from the environment, the Antarctic and illegal fishing, through to disarmament and regional security. The first known Chilean to arrive in Australia was former president and political exile, General Ramon Freire, who arrived in Chileans in Australia numbered 90 in the Census and grew slowly until the late s.
Numbers increased more rapidly from the s onwards, with the Census recording 26, Chilean-born people in Australia.
Australia's Chilean diaspora now includes second and third generation Chilean Australians. People to people links Australia is an attractive education destination for Chileans. Inthere were 3, Chilean students studying in Australian educational institutions, making Chile the third-largest source of international students from Latin America, after Brazil and Colombia.
Australia's bilateral education relationship with Chile is well developed. Additional collaborative agreements exist between Australian education and training institutions.
InChilean scholars were offered one Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship and two Endeavour Research Fellowships, while 30 Australian students will have a study experience in Chile under the Endeavour Mobility Grants program. Chilean Government and local education providers, covering scholarships, student exchanges and double degree arrangements.
Australia is among the top destination countries for scholarship students funded by the Chilean Government's Becas Chile Scholarship Program, under which more than students have been sent to study in Australia since The program includes postgraduate, undergraduate and vocational education and training scholarships. New opportunities are emerging for Australian education and training providers in areas such as mining, energy and water management, where Australia has research and teaching strengths and Chile has human-capital development needs.
Greater engagement between government, researchers, education and training providers and industry is taking place as a result. Short-term visitor numbers have been growing since Qantas began direct flights from Sydney to Santiago in Marchin addition to Latam services via Auckland, which commenced in In Februarycapacity was doubled to 4, seats per week each way under an expanded bilateral air service agreement. Chilean tourism authorities recorded the arrival of 50, Australians in In SeptemberAustralia introduced an e-visa for Chilean tourists visiting Australia.
The e-visa processing system has benefitted relatives of the large resident Chilean community in Australia and facilitated a greater flow of Chilean tourists to Australia. The perception of the region as a backyard of the United States persists, as do stereotypes of political instability, economic underachievement, and social exclusion.
Chile–China relations - Wikipedia
To develop better mutual understanding requires complementing intergovernmental relations with social and cultural initiatives. The role of geography cannot be ignored. Even in the context of globalization, physical distance remains a factor raising the cost of interactions between the two regions. Shipping routes are long and in many cases indirect. This is changing fast, but bottlenecks remain on both sides of the Pacific. Proposals to develop East-West overland infrastructure linking South America to Asia via the Pacific ports have potential, especially for the heartland areas faraway from the Atlantic coast, but have not made sufficient progress.
Air connections are mostly via North America and Europe. On this last route traffic is growing very fast due to an alliance between airlines from Chile and Australia. This is making a real contribution to make air transport links more efficient.
Lowering barriers to entry into the air transport industry should be a common interest in both regions. This is of course a large challenge, both economic and political. The bipolar structure of the Cold War international system kept the two regions apart. While revolutionary changes in both regions influenced interregional relations, this happened mostly in the context of the superpower contest.
Colombia sent a military force to fight in the Korean war. Our region was a distant observer of the Chinese revolution, but in the s the influence of Maoism and the Sino-Soviet dispute on the Latin American Communist parties and other groups was significant.
On the Taiwan issue, to the late 60s, most Latin American governments followed the lead of the United States and were supporters of Taipei. The Vietnam war was closely followed in Latin America, but its effect had more to do with attitudes towards the United States than vis-a-vis Southeast Asia, though in Chile the government of President Allende established diplomatic relations with Hanoi by the way, Chile has just reopened the embassy in Vietnam. Of course, Cuba has a long tradition of relations with Asian communist countries.
The Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 helped to develop some contacts between Latin America and Asia within broader political and economic frameworks.
But even considering such initiatives, the influence of Washington's East Asian policies, and in general the Cold War diplomacy of the US, remained a central factor in shaping Latin America's limited relations with that region. The end of the Cold War allowed some "breathing space" to our foreign policies. Of course, this was changed by the war on terrorism after September 11,but governments in the region mostly do not want a single-issue approach to international relations.
Also, the successful record of the economic policies in several East Asian countries was followed in Latin America. Even though the Asian financial crisis affected our region, Latin American interest in East Asia did not subside.
Steps to increase cooperation, mostly but not exclusively economic, have been taking shape. For the official actors involved, this is an exciting experience, since - It is a line of policy innovation, a learning experience about countries, economies, and societies that, as we have seen, have been largely unknown to us for a long time; - It offers opportunities to career diplomats to do their work with relatively little political interference.
The political class remains less interested in East Asia than in other areas of our foreign relations, and thus, for example, political parties are less keen to secure ambassadorial appointments. Put in a more positive light, actors across a broad spectrum of political options are generally supportive of developing ties with East Asia, regardless of domestic differences on other issues, which helps to build continuity into our interregional diplomacies, and - Developing these ties holds promise of substantial and growing returns, especially in trade and investment.
But also, some other Chilean products are gaining some market in China, like fishery and wooden products. Strengthening commercial links with China can reinforce the mutual benefits that our relation is already reaping. In this matter, a Free Trade Agreement between both countries would be highly welcomed". I might add that Chile runs a large trade surplus with China, which helps us with our overall trade balance, as Chile runs large deficits in other areas, especially the Mercosur.
Chile is also holding preliminary talks with Japan via a committee called the Joint Study Group, which was set up after Prime Minister Koizumi and President Lagos announced last November their commitment to look into the feasibility of a FTA negotiation.
The goal is to be able to make an announcement of the start of formal negotiations, hopefully by the time of the APEC summit in Korea, this November. In fact, the conventional map of Pacific diplomacy mostly ignored Latin America.
In the older academic literature, this was mirrored as Latin America was overlooked by most authors discussing Pacific Basin affairs. Chile actively lobbied to join, with help from unlikely allies such as Malaysia. The fact that Australia and the United States did not seem enthusiastic about Chile's application may have provided an additional incentive to Mahathir. Chile was successful between the Seattle or Blake Island summit, and the Bogor, Indonesia summit, which is remembered for the "Bogor Goals" of full liberalization for developed members by year and for all by This, incidentally, is now seen as a problem as there are growing concerns that the target might not be reached.
The crucial limiting factors seem to lie in the voluntary, non-binding nature of commitments in APEC, and with the very structure of the network, which was not designed as a negotiating body. I will return to this. Since then, a moratorium on new applications has "frozen" APEC membership. A related concern, not publicly voiced, is that a growing Latin American membership might lead to the formation of a "Latin caucus" within the forum.
In any case, as in other organizations, it appears that with regard to the membership issue, APEC faced the classic dilemma of extension vs. Some observers suspect that, while the options for extension have not been exhausted, consolidation has not been achieved either, especially in the context of a perception of "drift" spreading in the membership. At present it is not clear whether APEC is suited to function as a vehicle for trade liberalization, as the approach to opening based on so-called "concerted unilateral action" advanced in the mids, with liberalization measures favoring members and non-members alike open regionalism is widely seen as a "toothless" mechanism because commitments are not binding among members.
Chile tried, during her turn in leading APEC, to give the forum a renewed sense of direction by addressing this problem. However, to achieve such ambitious goals several years of sustained regional diplomacy are needed, and continuity of leadership between Chile, Korea, Vietnam, Australia, Peru, and Singapore, the leaders of APEC untilis uncertain.
However, he also warned that APEC cannot be transformed overnight. No one however is sure whether such reviews will actually be undertaken, and if so, whether they could carry weight with contracting parties. In this context, it would seem that the main attractions of APEC, especially for the smaller members like Chile, lie less in the agenda of the forum than in the opportunities to showcase the country to the Asia Pacific partners, and, second, to engage in political networking at the highest level.
Leaders place high value on yearly opportunities to conduct APEC and non-APEC diplomacy mostly bilateral on the neutral ground provided by the host economy, without the diplomatic complexities involved in bilateral official visits.
If and when the moratorium on new members is lifted, Latin American applicants might be Ecuador and Colombia.
Chile–United States relations - Wikipedia
Perhaps Panama could join the queue. Of course, even if this limited expansion of participation by Latin American economies in APEC should materialize, a large degree of asymmetry vis-a-vis East Asians, in terms of numbers, economic size, and political-economic bases of power will remain.
So even if Latin Americans have made, and can continue making, some contributions to the APEC forum, the "center of gravity" of interactions in this network will continue being around the large East Asian members and between them and the United States. There are some Latin American political initiatives vis-a-vis specific countries, like the Rio Group talks with China. It is not a Pacific Rim body, which means that Latin American membership extends to non-Pacific countries.
The agenda is open--ended, thus harboring a potential for dialogue in areas such as political and cultural affairs. Members are governments of sovereign states so far, a total of Two ministerial meetings have been held, the first in Santiago inthe second in Manila last year.
In this last conference, governments were clear in not overemphasizing the importance of FEALAC, described by foreign ministers as a mechanism that should complement other areas of multilateral engagement of the participants.
In other words, both regions have other priorities, but think that FEALAC is a secondary avenue still worth exploring. The problem is that so far no substantial resources have been committed to do this.
One initiative on this so-called "track two" is to build academic links among institutions working on subjetcs that are on the FEALAC agenda. This Chilean project is still small scale and in a virtual stage, but work is underway to organize substantive meetings on issues of common interest. Some final remarks 1. In this presentation, I have looked at the development of relations between Latin America and East Asia, emphasizing the case of Chile. In our country, there is a growing consensus across the political spectrum that these relations are of growing importance, although much remains to be done to understand our neighbors across the Pacific.
Deepening and strengthening economic, political, and other areas of relations with Asia requires sustained efforts to improve our diplomacy, build up business ties, engage in cooperation projects, and develop cultural awareness and understanding.