China in Ecuador: Natural Resources, Infrastructure and Security

By Expediente Abierto

China’s presence in Ecuador started to expand in 2009 when the country was isolated from the international financial system and began to receive substantial loans from Chinese state and commercial banks. This financial favor was tied to conditioned purchases and the granting of services from China in at least three strategic areas: natural resources (notably oil and mining), security, and public infrastructure. Many of these loans were tied to long-term purchases of Ecuadorian crude oil, and all were tied to the hiring of Chinese companies and services to carry out public works in Ecuador.

Those deals in the three mentioned strategic areas were agreed upon with the highest authorities of the Ecuadorian executive power. However, low transparency standards were applied, preventing effective social control and assessment of their implications. As a result, acts of corruption have occurred, which, to date, are being aired within the judicial system. For example, scandals related to Rafael Correa’s government officials involve major Chinese companies and their legal representatives.

Based on this diagnosis, this document proposes some strategies to make economic relations with China more transparent from civil society.


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