Recent visits to Latin America by China's Hu Jintao and Russia'a Dmitry Medvedev underscore how sometime US rivals are competing for business and geopolitical influence in the US's backyard.
A meeting between Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and China's President Hu Jintao is expected to strengthen the two nations' growing economic ties. China already trumps the US as Brazil's top trading partner.
Brazil's largest trading partner is no longer the US – it's China. Beijing is investing billions of dollars and filling a vacuum left by the United States.