During the initial implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda), the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held in Santiago, Chile, in January 2018. During this forum, China officially invited 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This study links three important global governance issues: The 2030 Agenda, China-LAC relations and BRI. The authors attempt to analyze how China’s BRI in the LAC region can learn from the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). This study shows that although China and the LAC region have strong political, economic and trade relationships, they must deepen dialogues and cooperation on sustainable development, especially the 2030 Agenda with 17 SDGs, which can be inspirations for China’s BRI in this region. BRI, which aligns with the 2030 Agenda and contributes to Chinese experience in development, can generate new opportunities for the LAC region to implement such an agenda. However, the challenges and risks of BRI cannot be ignored, and adequate answers and solutions should be provided to allow BRI to achieve a win–win outcome for China and LAC countries. The authors also examine the alignment of China’s policies towards LAC and BRI with the 2030 Agenda (17 SDGs) and the involvement of each SDG in these policies as the 2030 Agenda (17 SDGs) should be considered in policy-making for China’s BRI in the LAC region. Moreover, on the basis of previous analyses, suggestions for a successful BRI in the LAC region in six sectors are proposed in the context the 2030 Agenda.
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