R. Evan Ellis
Although Costa Rica was the first nation in Latin America to switch relations from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), it stands as a lesson to others that the promise of vast economic and other benefits from diplomatically recognizing China, and the reality, are very different. Costa Rica also stands as an example of how the application of transparency and good governance can help insulate a country against some of the more predatory engagements by the PRC and its companies.
Costa Rica, under Rodrigo Chaves, has arguably found a healthy balance between engagement with the PRC, and political and economic policies that preserve the nation’s options as a democratic country with a healthy economy and fiscal options for pursuing its long-term development. Nonetheless, the PRC continues to advance in multiple was in the country that merit continued vigilance. This work provides an overview of China’s irregular advance in Costa Rica, including its advances, setbacks, and prospects for the future.
Keywords: Costa Rica, People’s Republic of China, Diplomatic Recognition, Economic Policies, Commercial Relations, Conflicts.
Image of China and Costa Rica flags from CEEP