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Beyond copper: China and Chile relations

Juan Enrique Serrano Moreno (Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile)
Alejandra Pérez Ceballos (Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Chile)
María Gabriela De Abreu Negrón (University of Heidelberg Center of European Historical and Cultural Studies, Santiago, Chile)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 24 February 2020

Issue publication date: 18 June 2021




This study aims to investigate the Chile–China diplomatic and economic relations in the light of the extension of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and the Chile's accession to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2019.


This study takes Chile as a case of study to identify the main upcoming challenges and opportunities for relations between China and Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries. The study examines news and official data on trade, investment and foreign policy.


The findings are twofold. First, the increasing and diversification of exports from Chile to China. Second, the participation of Chinese companies in public tendering procedures, which is increasing Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. The growing volume of trade does not make Chile's economy more dependent on copper exports, and Chinese investment may help solve the structural deficit in infrastructures of the Andean country.


This study presents an overview of Chile as a partner for China and evaluates the relationship's impact on the development of the former. Recently collected data on bilateral trade and investments are analyzed to contribute to the emerging literature on Chinese and Chile relations.



This article is the result of the research project n. 11180248 “Fondecyt de iniciación 2018,” funded by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, (CONICYT), in which Juan Enrique Serrano Moreno is the principal researcher, titled “La integración económica de la Región Administrativa Especial de Hong Kong en la República Popular de China y su incidencia en las relaciones sino-chilenas.”


Serrano Moreno, J.E., Pérez Ceballos, A. and De Abreu Negrón, M.G. (2021), "Beyond copper: China and Chile relations", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 359-373.



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