U.S. Watching China with Wary Eye; the United States Is Not the Only Country with Interests in Latin America

By Piatt, Gregory | The Florida Times Union, August 29, 2005 | Go to article overview

U.S. Watching China with Wary Eye; the United States Is Not the Only Country with Interests in Latin America


Piatt, Gregory, The Florida Times Union


Byline: GREGORY PIATT

PANAMA CITY, Panama -- In recent years, China has forged broad political, economic and military ties with countries in Latin America.

This has caught the attention of U.S. officials and has caused some analysts and commentators to sound an alarm that China is infiltrating the United States' sphere of influence.

The concern about China in Latin America began shortly before the United States turned over control of the Panama Canal to Panama in December 1999. A Hong Kong company said to have ties to China's Communist government and army acquired a contract for running the port authority on both the Atlantic and Pacific port entrances to the canal.

"The acquisition of a 50-year lease [on the canal] enabled China to gain enormous political and trade involvement in the region," Albert Santoli, president of Asia America Initiative, said during testimony at last month's meeting of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The commission is a panel formed by U.S. Senate and House leaders.

"The control of the loading and offloading of ships gives China the ability to bring weapons and countless illegal aliens into the hemisphere, including possible terrorists, [which] could prepare new terrorist cells to cross into the United States through our porous southern border."

Controlling ship loading and offloading also could allow the transfer of weapons to guerrilla groups, many of which have ties to drug trafficking in the region without the scrutiny of U.S. customs or intelligence agents, Santoli said.

With fear that a terrorist group could attack the Panama Canal, the U.S. Southern Command's naval component, headquartered at Mayport Naval Station, held a land, sea and air exercise to safeguard the waterway from attack.

The exercise, called Panamax 2005, included 15 nations, mainly from Central and South America, which consider any stop of trade through the canal a serious threat to their economies.

But China's growing trade makes the Panama Canal a vital waterway for ships carrying goods to and from the Far East. And that can't be ignored, said Gen. Bantz Craddock, commander of the Southern Command.

"[China's] growing dependence on the global economy and the necessity of protecting access to food, energy, raw materials and export markets has forced a shift in their military strategy," Craddock told Congress this year. "[China's] 2004 Defense Strategy White Paper departs from the past and promotes a power-projection military capable of securing strategic shipping lanes and protecting its growing economic interests abroad."

So does that mean China will participate in next year's Panamax exercise? Probably not, said Rear Adm. Vinson Smith, commander of Southern Command's naval component.

"This is not China's back yard, it's ours," Smith said. "But China might be involved in the future."

But China's growing economic interests, presence and influence in the region are not a threat, Craddock said.

"They are clearly components of a condition we should recognize and consider carefully as we form our own objectives, policies and engagement in the region," he said.

Testifying before Congress in April, Roger Noriega, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said China's interest in Latin America is driven by several factors.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

U.S. Watching China with Wary Eye; the United States Is Not the Only Country with Interests in Latin America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.