Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela on June 21 defended his country’s decision the week before to give diplomatic recognition to China, effectively cutting off diplomatic relations with long-time ally Taiwan. He said the move was “the right thing to do,” adding that it would bring investment and trade to the country. Did Panama make the right decision in giving diplomatic recognition to China? What will be the consequences for Panama, China and Taiwan? How likely is it that other Central American or Caribbean countries will follow suit?

See our Q&A in the daily Latin America Advisor with Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, contributing writer for Foreign Policy; Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of politics at Ithaca College; Guo Cunhai, founder and director of CECLA (Comunidad de Estudios Chinos y Latinoamericanos); Tom Brymer, principal of Panama Advisory International Group; and Carlos Casanova, economist for the Asia-Pacific region at Coface.

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