US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Central America late last week when he criticized China’s rising influence there by questioning the intentions behind its investment activity, which prompted the country’s media to angrily respond earlier this week and lambast the US for trying to “drive a wedge” into Sino-Latin American relations. Washington is worried that Central America is slipping out of its hegemonic control after tiny El Salvador broke ties with Taiwan in August and recognized Beijing as China’s legitimate government in exchange for economic support, which some observers feared could catalyze a chain reaction in this part of the world where the self-proclaimed country counts a handful of its dwindling supporters.
From the US’ perspective, China’s rising economic influence is clearly having political consequences that might one day manifest themselves in these countries gradually turning away from Washington like a few of them have recently done with Taipei, which could lead to the US losing its unipolar control over the region that it condescendingly regards as its “backyard”. Even Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez hinted at what he called the “opportunity” that China’s growing diplomatic role in the region could provide despite he himself having remained in power up until now after winning a disputed election late last year that was controversially endorsed by the US.
Full articled: China Is Challenging The US In Central America, And Washington Can’t Do Anything (OrientalReview)