China’s growing ties with PanamaSep 20 2017
To discuss China’s diplomatic ties with Panama, CGTN’s Wang Guan talked with Bruno Binetti. Binetti is a Research Fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue.
Comments by Bruno Binetti:
“This is a very important diplomatic victory for China. Twenty countries recognize Taiwan in the world, half of those countries are located in Central America and the Caribbean, so definitely the announcement of Panama, which joins Costa Rica, which switched diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China ten years ago, is a very important diplomatic win for Beijing.”
“China has been very pragmatic about its relations with Latin American countries, which has led to the strengthening of trade and investment relations even though they didn’t have formal diplomatic relations. I think that now what Panama and other Central American countries are realizing is that they have much to gain from formal cooperation with China. If anything, the fact that more Central American countries are beginning to recognize Beijing will only provide more coherence and strength to Latin America and Chinese ties.”
“Countries in Latin America are benefiting with closer ties to China, for example in infrastructure, which is an issue that is very important for Panama – with the Panama Canal, and China as its second-largest user of that canal.”
“Most Central American countries were experiencing civil conflicts with left-wing gorillas in the 1970s, which is when the UN recognized Beijing as the sole representative of China. Taiwan fought cooperation relations with these countries and somehow managed to maintain this as the last diplomatic stronghold of its strategy. It looks like that time has come to an end, Taiwan is no longer able to compete effectively with China’s diplomatic, economic and geopolitical influence and power and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the near future we find more Central American and Caribbean countries announce similar decisions.”