Central America-China: Seeing Red

Apr 1, 2011

The financial benefits to Costa Rica of diplomatic ties with China may spur others in Central America to follow. Those recognizing Taiwan still get Chinese energy dollars.

by Adam Williams

The most conspicuous example of Chinese investment in Central America is located on the west end of La Sabana Park in downtown San José, Costa Rica. There, in the nation’s biggest public park – whose wooded confines buzz daily with joggers, families and footballers – sits the colossal Chinese-built National Stadium.

The $100 million arena, deemed a "gift" from the Chinese government, is tangible evidence of lightning-fast progression in the Costa Rica-China relationship since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 2007. And the world’s second largest economy is beginning to make its way into El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Despite not having diplomatic relations with any other part of the isthmus, Chinese diplomats make it clear they are pursuing them.

"We are willing to develop diplomatic relations with every country in the world," Li Changhua, China’s ambassador to Costa Rica, tells LatinFinance. China...

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