Young Scholars Forum
“China and Central America relations: opportunities and obstacles”
China entdecken, China erleben, China begreifen: Junge Wissenschaftler:innen reden von eigenen Erfahrungen
Concept and moderation:
Dr Wang Yi, Director, International Office, University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Isabel Rosales, University of Hamburg
In December 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Panama for a state visit, the first of its kind since China established diplomatic relations with the Central American country in June 2017. Since Costa Rica established diplomatic relations with the PRC in 2007, three other countries – Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador – have done likewise. Four Central American countries – Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua – still do not belong to this circle, but one can wonder whether they, too, might now change. Central America seems to be particularly fertile ground for Chinese expansion. Linked by 21 major infrastructure projects like ports, telecommunications, rapid trains and roads, Central American governments see Chinese engagement as an opportunity to build back better after the pandemic. In a region that has been devastated by COVID-19, two major hurricanes, and is suffering from deep, structural democratic deficits, this new engagement with China could put strains in the balance of power in a highly sensitive area for the United States.
Isabel Rosales is a Political Scientist and has a master’s in international relations from the Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala. PhD candidate in Political Science from the University of Hamburg and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. She was the first Guatemalan woman to receive a doctoral scholarship in Political Science with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Isabel works for CIVICUS World Alliance with human rights organizations in Central America.
The event will be held in English and takes place on Zoom online platform.