Panama has long been of interest to the United States for its importance to national security, and now, China has made its own footprint in the country in much the same way as it has throughout Latin America. Panama signed onto the Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese project to build greater transportation infrastructure in Latin America. China has also increased its investments in power plants and new ship ports near the free trade zone, and a new railway to the Western side of the country. However, the new Panamanian administration under Mr. Cortizo must demonstrate its ability to govern, managing the economy and fighting corruption, all while balancing the tensions between the US and China, in order to continue to benefit from both of these important political and economic relationships.
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