US warning to Latin America disrespectful

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/21 22:23:39

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Panama and Mexico last week. During his stay in Panama, he warned President Juan Carlos Varela about doing business with China and criticized Chinese State-owned enterprises that engage in "predatory economic activity."

First of all, Pompeo's accusation against Chinese investment is nothing new. Rex Tillerson, Pompeo's predecessor, blamed China and Russia for their "new imperial" role in Latin America before his tour of five Latin American countries in February this year.

Such a label seems "creative," but did not get due attention from the outside world. Comparatively, Pompeo's remarks are more direct.

Panama broke its diplomatic relations with Taiwan in June last year and established ties with China. Another two Latin American countries, El Salvador and Dominican Republic, followed suit. This is their independent choice based on their national interests.

However, Washington is displeased about it. Last month it recalled its top diplomats in the three countries over their decisions to no longer recognize Taiwan, which, however, is obvious interference in these countries' sovereignty.

No matter whether it is Pompeo or Tillerson, their words entail contempt for the judgment of Latin American countries. Aren't these countries aware cooperation with China is on an equal footing and beneficial? Almost 200 years after the Monroe Doctrine speech in 1823, does the US still view itself as the instructor of Latin American countries?

The US attaches importance to the region, but at the same time, it sneezes at these countries. It highly values its strategic interests in Latin America, but turns a blind eye to regional countries' independence, development and their feelings. The US does not hide its disrespect for Latin American countries in its words and deeds. Not long ago, hundreds of children from Latin America were forced to separate from their parents and were held in cages at the Texas border.

For years, Latin American countries have been pursuing peace and development, on which, however, the US did not offer much support. Latin American countries depend on the US economy, but the US does not make the region rich and prosperous.

Most regional countries are disappointed with the US and want to shed themselves of US dependence and carry out normal diplomacy with other countries.

Relations between China and Latin America are based on mutual respect and equality. As China is winning trust and support from Latin America, the US feels lost and is trying to drive a wedge.

When a reporter from the Voice of America asked, "How do you convince Panama to turn down Chinese money? Does the United States have to sort of step up to the plate and do its own investment?" Pompeo's answer seemed out of focus. Obviously, the US has not thought of this question seriously. China is the largest trading partner of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. Squeezing China out will generate irreparable losses to the region.

While Washington goes to great lengths fomenting dissension between China and Latin America, this reflects that its narrative has no place in the region. Latin American countries know how to weigh their interests.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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