Stadium or Bridge : A Note on the Diplomatic Rivalry between China and Taiwan in Central AmericaStadium or Bridge : A Note on the Diplomatic Rivalry between China and Taiwan in Central AmericaAN00217633 スタジアムか橋か : 中米における中国と台湾の外交競争についての一考察
Panama broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan to establish those with China in June 2017, 10 years after Costa Rica did so, leaving only 19 countries plus the Vatican that still recognize offi cially Taiwan. Many such countries are located in Central America, to which Taiwan has paid special and strategic attention. Central American countries that recognize Taiwan appreciate and still need Taiwan’s active assistance. While Costa Rica and Panama need less of such aids, it is unlikely that the other countries in Central America would prefer to switch diplomatic recognition in the immediate future. Costa Rica's anticipated gains from trade with and investment from China have not materialized yet, while its benefi t is seen in tourism. It is necessary to step up Costa Rica’s prominent exports to China. Costa Rica also needs to develop the capacity to export in large quantity to China and to overcome the high initial costof starting business with China. As China exported manufacturing products and imported raw materials from South America, China has often run bilateral trade surpluses with Latin American and Caribbean countries. China's investment in Latin America has also increased, refl ecting various infrastructure projects. China's foreign direct investment in Latin America has lately become diverse. China's investment in Central America may increase. With or without diplomatic relationship, China and Taiwan have been engaged in trade, commerce, and investment with many other countries. If such practices change in the future, then the diplomatic recognition issue will become more important not just geopolitically but also economically.