I just updated this slide for a talk I’m giving tomorrow, and… wow. The U.S. government has confirmed ambassadors serving in South American countries containing less than a quarter of South America’s population. (105 million out of 431 million people, according to WolframAlpha.)

There’s something to keep in mind the next time you hear a U.S. official, or U.S. senator whose job it is to confirm nominees, rending their garments about China’s growing influence in the hemisphere.