Chinese engagement and influence in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region has increased rapidly over the past several years. As China's search for energy resources and raw material has expanded into the LAC region, the United States can not ignore the ramifications of Chinese involvement in the region. Regional experts disagree over the ramifications of Chinese involvement in the LAC region. Some experts believe China's influence in the LAC region is not an immediate threat to the United States and actually provides economic benefits to the United States in the near term. Others believe that China's influence may be malignant in the long term, especially when viewed from a Chinese strategic perspective. The consensus expressed by General Bantz J. Craddock, former Commander, United States Southern Command provides the truest realist view: "An increasing presence of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the region is an emerging dynamic that must not be ignored."1 Ramifications of Chinese economic influence in the LAC region go beyond the near term effects of securing resources. It is part of the Chinese grand strategy for securing the Chinese homeland and returning China's global preeminence. This paper compares Chinese relations in Africa and Latin America to assess potential strategic implications to China's economic, political, and military involvements in the LAC region. The United States should increase engagements in the LAC region to deal with the growing Chinese influence.