Panama casts away the US and bets on China

Bye bye Taiwan: the Channel turns its back to Taiwan and the muddy US policy, and throws itself into the hands of China. Here’s what the historic rethinking of Panama toward Taiwan means: Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road is moving even further west at the doors of Donald Trump’s America; China, nowadays the first world power, occupies the Channel that just over a century ago, on August 15, 1914, was opened with the blessing (and contribution) of the United States.

In 1914 a thousand ships per year passed there: at the end of the last decade there were over 15,000 ships. But the most important recent step, in the 77 km water course crossable in six hours, carries a date that will change everything: June 26, 2016, a transport monster labelled “Cosco Shipping”, ie the colossus of shipments made in China, is the first vessel to cut the newly renovated Panama Channel.

A clear and strong signal, underlined by the presence of a delegation of some thirty politicians and supermanager of banks and big industry. It was a sign that concerned a lot mrs. Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese leader who doesn’t bend to Beijing and who just a few days before had chose the state of the Channel for her first visit as President.

Just a few figures to understand the extent of the issue: if trade between the US and South America from 2000 to today has doubled, that with China has grown up to 22 times. The Beijing large hand is also recognized in the granting of loans: 231 million in 2005, 30 billion ten years later. The “Brookings Institute” has even produced a sort of red book to illustrate the risks for the American economy because of the advance of Red China down there.

Donald Trump babbles nonsense? Here comes Beijing, ready to ride the leadership of the Pacific countries: the Ocean that starts from the China Sea and stretches indeed to Chile and Argentina. The fall of Panama is not just the last blow to Taiwan’s dreams of independence: it’s China’s last challenge to the American hegemony on Earth.

 

Source: Repubblica

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