Joe Biden has been nothing if not ineffective as a foreign policy leader. After insulting Saudi Arabia almost as soon as he made it to the White House, allowing the Taliban to scoop up billions in American military hardware by bungling the Afghanistan withdrawal, and projecting enough weakness that Russia decided it could invade Ukraine, it now appears Biden has lost long-time U.S. ally Colombia to the Chinese sphere of influence. James Brooke reports in The New York Sun:
Colombia, traditionally one of Washington’s strongest allies in Latin America, has just signed a “strategic partnership” with Communist China. The nation’s guerrilla-turned-president, Gustavo Petro, signed the deal at Beijing this week. He has complained that his nation’s foreign policy was “subordinate” to Washington.
On the commercial front, Colombia, a middle-income nation of 52 million people, offers a juicy market to Chinese exporters. On the strategic front, Colombia is South America’s only nation with Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The new deal with China will add new energy to a decade-old proposal to build a “dry canal” between the Pacific and the Caribbean.
Billed by Chinese investors as an alternative to the 109-year-old, American-built Panama Canal, Colombia’s “dry canal” would be a Chinese-built railroad running 136 miles through thick jungle between two new container ports, both built by Chinese companies.
While this land bridge may be far in the future, today’s mood music is favorable. In 2026, China Harbor Engineering Company and Xi’an Metro are to complete a $4 billion project: the first two subway lines for the Bogotá Metro. For the capital’s suburbs, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is building a 17-station light rail network.
For Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, China Harbor is to complete next year a $650 million highway winding 158 miles down from the Andes to the Gulf of Urabá, coincidentally the proposed terminus region for the railroad from the Pacific. Also at Medellín, China Railway Road Corporation has won a $3.5 billion public-private contract to build a metro across the city. Another Chinese company, Capital Airport Holding Company, now manages Medellín’s two airports and five other airports in the Antioquia department.
A railroad linking the Pacific and the Caribbean would stand as “a symbol of China’s economic incursions into what the US once considered its backyard,” Britain’s Guardian wrote. Or, as a Foreign Policy headline read recently: “As China Eyes Colombia, the United States Is AWOL; The country is a test case for Beijing’s encroachment in Latin America.”
Read more here.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for the Richardcyoung.com free weekly email.