China’s global rise is generating economic and personal exchanges that push theories of social capital, guanxi, and transnationalism beyond their limits. The concept of trust provides an encompassing principle for understanding these interactions. Cuba and Mexico illuminate how China’s impact is forcing public, private, and civic sectors to interact in new ways. In Cuba, nascent trade and investment agreements with China have provoked a grudging awareness that uncompromising state control is poorly suited to post–Cold War rationalism. In Mexico, unrelenting Chinese commercial competition has fueled new accusations of inadequate industrial policies and insufficient state support for innovation. In both countries, Chinese diasporic communities are emerging as key brokers of trans-Pacific consensus. The book’s introduction presents a panorama of the resulting synergies pursued by governments, companies, and communities. It argues that if these efforts are to gain traction on the ground, they must ultimately build trust between strangers.
Pérez Brito, Arnaldo. 1953. Vocal performance of “Chino Li-Wong,” by Armando Orefiche. Recorded by Armando Orefiche and His Havana boys on Vintage Cuba no. 79 EP Almendra.