What’s Behind China’s Growing Push into Central America?

By Luis Guillermo Solís

Growing tensions with Washington, and the post-COVID landscape, seem to provide an open door for Beijing.

For nearly 60 years, the preeminent Asian power in Central America was not the People’s Republic of China, but Taiwan. Yet in rapid succession starting in 2017, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador surprised many by switching their diplomatic recognition to Beijing, joining Costa Rica, which had done so in 2007. While four Central American nations remain today within Taiwan’s shrinking circle of international supporters - Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and, curiously, Nicaragua – it is fair to wonder whether those alliances, too, may now be in danger.  Today,...

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