Video On Demand

Report Launch: China’s Role in Democratic Backsliding in Latin America and the Caribbean

February 15, 2024 • 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

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Join the CSIS Americas Program for the launch of a new report assessing China's role in democratic backsliding observed in Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by an in-depth expert discussion on democracy, autocracy, and the evolving role of China in the Western Hemisphere.

China’s mounting influence in Latin America and the Caribbean has been the subject of study and consternation in U.S. policy circles for well over a decade. An especially concerning area of research in this regard has been the possibility that Chinese economic, diplomatic, security, and political activities within the region could be contributing to the democratic backsliding witnessed in recent decades. 

However, the precise mechanisms through which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) may or may not exacerbate LAC’s ongoing democratic regression have been insufficiently studied. This report seeks to more fully enumerate the nature of China’s impact on democracy in LAC. It finds that China contributes directly to democratic backsliding by propagating its model of authoritarian governance through its soft power engagements in media, education, and people-to-people diplomacy, as well as by protecting regimes undergoing democratic backsliding with economic and diplomatic support even as these governments become increasingly isolated from the rest of the international system. 

The event will unpack the findings of the report, and delve deeper into the full spectrum of China's engagement, and the consequences for LAC and the United States alike.

Fireside Chat

3:00 pm

Americas Program Director Ryan C. Berg, sits with Deputy Director and Senior Fellow Christopher Hernandez-Roy, to discuss elements of the report. 

Expert Discussion

3:10 pm

In-depth panel discussion with Christopher Walker, Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy, Dr. Kelly Piazza, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy, and Lt. Gen. Andrew A. Croft (Ret.), Former Military Deputy Commander, United States Southern Command.

Audience Q&A

3:50 pm

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Smith Richardson Foundation. 

Hosted By

Contact Information

Christopher Walker
Vice President for Studies and Analysis, National Endowment for Democracy
Kelly Piazza
Associate Professor of Political Science, United States Air Force Academy

Featured Publication

Photo: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

Exporting Autocracy

CSIS Americas director Ryan C. Berg and Henry Ziemer analyze China's role in democratic backsliding across Latin America and the Caribbean and outline a series of recommendations for the United States to advance a democracy-first strategy in the hemisphere.

Report by Ryan C. Berg and Henry Ziemer — February 15, 2024