September 22, 2007
Ever since Costa Rica broke off relations with Taiwan in June to establish ties with communist China, desperate Taiwanese authorities have been scrambling to prevent further defections. At an international conference held in August in Tegucigalpa, the leaders of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic pledged to back president Chen Shui-bian and his long-shot struggle to win UN membership for Taiwan. It did not hurt that the president reportedly vowed to invest $1 billion in infrastructure, environmental and energy projects throughout Central America.
Taiwanese authorities insist that it is not all about money, and people close to the governmen
Central American and Caribbean infrastructure is a beneficiary of the diplomatic tussle between China and Taiwan.