Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
China and Latin America

Mexico’s Evolving Relationship with China

AQ tracks how the country has managed its ties with Beijing.

This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on the battle over fake news. Click here to learn about other governments’ relationships with China.

IN OFFICE SINCE 2018

Andrés
Manuel
López
Obrador

“We will never forget China’s support in these bitter and distressing months of the pandemic.”
—May 2021, during a morning press conference

 

“The day we spoke on the phone, [the president of China] decided to give us special attention. … After that call, more ventilators were secured from China.”
—April 2020

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has gradually deepened Mexico’s relationship with China. On a visit to China in July 2019, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard stated that Mexico was seeking more trade and investment, as well as “better economic relations.” After speaking with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in January 2021, Ebrard announced that the countries would expand their “strategic association.” Mexico is not a member of the Belt and Road Initiative, but there has been recent Chinese investment in its transportation and energy sectors. In November 2020, the Chinese firm State Power Investment Corp. bought Zuma Energía, one of Mexico’s largest renewable energy firms, for an undisclosed amount. A consortium that includes a Chinese company is set to construct the first part of AMLO’s signature Maya Train project, and other Chinese firms are involved in Mexican cities’ bus and train networks. The world’s largest manufacturer of railway cars, China’s CRRC, announced in May 2021 plans to build a factory in central Mexico. Ebrard and AMLO have also thanked China for its support in confronting the pandemic. Mexico relied on Chinese vaccine shipments in early 2021, and a government agreement led to the production of the Chinese vaccine CanSino in Querétaro for national distribution since March.

“We will never forget China’s support in these bitter and distressing months of the pandemic.”
—May 2021, during a morning press conference

 

“The day we spoke on the phone, [the president of China] decided to give us special attention. … After that call, more ventilators were secured from China.”
—April 2020

LARGEST TRADE PARTNER
MAJOR CHINESE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SINCE 2019
$1.8 billion CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive to modernize Line 1 of Mexico City’s subway system and add 30 new train cars
$630 million A consortium including China Communications Construction Company to construct a section of the Maya Train on the Yucatán Peninsula
$300 million Zhongtong Bus Holding Co. Ltd. and Mexican firm Golden Star 400 to build a plant in Nuevo León state to produce buses that run on natural gas
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Tags: AMLO, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, China and Latin America, Mexico, The Battle Over Fake News
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