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China in Panama: from peripheral diplomacy to grand strategy

Mendez, Alvaro ORCID: 0000-0002-0919-5081 and Alden, Chris (2019) China in Panama: from peripheral diplomacy to grand strategy. Geopolitics. pp. 1-23. ISSN 1465-0045

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14650045.2019.1657413


The globalisation of China’s development strategy, from its origins as infrastructure diplomacy connecting its domestic west with its Central Asian periphery, into the transnational Belt and Road Initiative encompassing the periphery of the world system, epitomises the rapid evolution of a Chinese grand strategy of great economic and political ambition. The small state of Panama is a key node in the global trading system that can make an unexpectedly large contribution to China’s national security and international influence. Accordingly, China’s economic statecraft in Panama is not only opening up the Latin America and Caribbean markets to further Chinese commercial penetration, but is simultaneously expanding its political influence in this remotest part of the global South. China’s is a two-track grand strategy positing to other nations a choice between a liberal internationalist co-prosperity and a zero-sum realist contest. This audacious approach relies on relational power amongst small states, especially semi-peripheral ones like Panama, to put China at the forefront of what is shaping up as a grand coalition of the global South collectively challenging American hegemony.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 14:09
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:42

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