Press Releases

ICYMI: Congressman Rick Crawford Moderates Panel Discussion at Foundation for Defense of Democracies About Beijing’s Latin America Exploitation

Washington, D.C. , December 12, 2023
  • Rep. Rick Crawford Beyond the SCIF 2023



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Central Intelligence Agency, led the latest installment of the House Intelligence Committee’s Beyond the SCIF series with his panel on “Beijing’s Latin America Exploitation” in conjunction with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).


What Was Discussed


· How the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) campaign of malign influence across Latin America poses a threat to the national security of the United States and its allies


· Beijing’s efforts to implement a comprehensive campaign in Latin America to advance their interests to the detriment of the region


· What the United States is doing to protect Americans and preserve a world order that embraces the freedom of navigation, fair trade, and the protection of intelligence and national security


Notable Quotes


“Today’s conversation will focus on the expanding influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Latin America...Moderating today’s conversation is Congressman Rick Crawford. Representative Crawford has served Arkansas’ 1st District through six terms in Congress. He’s served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence since 2017. He’s currently chairman of the Subcommittee on the CIA, and he sits on the Subcommittee on Defense Intelligence & Overhead Architecture.”

– Cliff May, Founder & President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies


“We at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, or HPSCI as we call it, have worked for years on highlighting the increase in CCP influence, both domestically and abroad. As Chairman of the CIA Subcommittee on HPSCI, I’ve traveled across Latin America to learn of the challenges we will discuss today. The CCP’s activities affect not only our national security but also the security and autonomy of our neighbors and partners in the hemisphere. My hope today is to further expose China’s activities in the Western Hemisphere and why that’s a risk to our country and to our neighbors.”

– Congressman Rick Crawford


“China is becoming the second largest trading partner of Latin America and Caribbean countries in recent years…In 2020, China’s trade with Latin America was barely $12 billion. But as of last year, China’s trade with Latin American countries was second only to the United States – more than $480 billion. That basically marked about a 40 times increase. So, part of the puzzle here, through the economic lens, is that free trade agreements actually contributed to it. For instance, China now has free trade agreements with Chile and is in conversation with Uruguay, which basically means by next year, China probably will have at least four or five free trade agreements.”

– Dr. Zoe Liu


“We can’t look at the threat vectors that we see in Latin America specifically or exclusively through a military lens because, as we all know, security is multi-dimensional, and our adversaries in China and Moscow understand it to be such. So, we need to be focused as well on the economic security, the political security, and the human security of the countries in this hemisphere. If we’re not paying attention to the multi-dimensional and multi-domain aspects of security, then we are at risk of sowing the seeds for cycles of discontent that will create instability and create problems for us here in the United States thereafter.”

– Dr. Paul Angelo


“One of the things that I found so fascinating was some of the strategic framing. It was not just that the U.S. had not invested and had sort of taken for granted the region. It wasn’t also that the leaders in the region sort of found a common ideological cause with the great power framing that the Chinese were presenting as an alternative to us. It’s that we actually offered no alternatives to most of these partner countries at all…Most of the cloud infrastructure being built in the region is connected to Chinese companies, and some of the data storage is being housed back in China. So, the Chinese are establishing control over data flows. All of this is happening, I would argue, primarily because the United States hasn’t actually offered a compelling alternative.”

– Craig Singleton


Panel Speakers:


· Congressman Rick Crawford, Chairman, Central Intelligence Agency Subcommittee, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence


· Dr. Zoe Liu, Maurice R. Greenberg Fellow for China Studies, Council on Foreign Relations


· Dr. Paul Angelo, Director, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies


· Craig Singleton, Senior Fellow & Deputy Director of the China Program, Foundation for Defense of Democracies