Chinese interests with respect to Central America align with its ‘Go Out Policy’ developed in the late 1990s. Being an offshoot of its Latin America policy, this orientation incorporates both economic and political objectives.
Lacking energy and mineral resources in comparison to South America, Central America stands out with its geostrategic location separating the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. China is the second most frequent users of the Pacific Canal, ranking just behind the United States and the first supplier in the Colon Free Trade Zone on Panama’s Caribbean coast, the hemisphere’s largest free trade area. Very recently, the Chinese have also recently won multimillion dollar bids to build a kilometre-long bridge over this canal as well as a convention centre and a cruise ship terminal.
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