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Fri, May 3 | Tucson

China's Expanding Leverage in Latin America

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Time & Location

Members Only:

May 3, 2024 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Westin La Paloma

3800 E Sunrise Drive

Tucson, AZ 85718

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About the event 

"China's Expanding Leverage in Latin America"

with Major General Evan L. Pettus

The speaker will examine the growing influence operations conducted by the Chinese Communist Party–led government in Latin America, presenting strategic risks to US national security and global order. He will highlight the surprising breadth and scale of China’s influence, encompassing economic entanglements, critical infrastructure investments, coercive diplomacy, and information control. By leveraging economic ties, controlling critical minerals, and establishing ports and space facilities, China gains significant leverage over the region, undermining democratic governance and posing risks to US interests.

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He will emphasize the need for a comprehensive global strategy to address this challenge, including offering competitive alternatives to Latin American nations and supporting their institutional capacity. Failure to do so could undermine US and allied ability to compete in the Indo-Pacific and uphold the rules-based international order.


Maj. Gen. Evan L. Pettus is the Commander, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. As the Air Force component to U.S. Southern Command, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) conducts security cooperation and provides air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) supports U.S. Southern Command to deter aggression, defeat threats, rapidly respond to crises and work with allies and partner nations to build regional capacity to ensure a secure, free and prosperous Western Hemisphere.Prior to this assignment, Maj. Gen. Pettus was the Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he was responsible for coordinating operational testing and tactics development programs and advanced training schools, exercises and venues in developing innovative leaders and Airmen with proven and tested technology, the most current tactics, academic training and opportunities to practice integrated force employment.Maj. Gen. Pettus earned his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994. He graduated from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas, and was first stationed at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, as an F-15E pilot. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is a command pilot with more than 2,700 hours. He has flown combat missions in operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve.

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