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China Expands Influence in Central America

Voice of America News reports: “With a library here, a power station there, China is using aid and investment to increase its presence in Central America, posing a challenge to the United States’ 2-century-old diplomatic dominance in the region.

China’s interest is driven in part by its rivalry for diplomatic recognition with Taiwan, a self-governing island which has claimed to be the legitimate government of China since the communist victory on the mainland in 1949. But Beijing is also open about its ambition to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power.

Swayed by Beijing’s dollar diplomacy, three Central American countries — Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua — have switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China since 2017. So too has the nearby Caribbean island nation of Dominican Republic.

Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize round out the nations of the isthmus connecting North and South America, a region first claimed as part of the U.S. sphere of influence with the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823…”

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