China's attempts to flex its increasing international clout scored a major victory earlier in December when the strategic Central American nation of Panama became the first in the region to officially agree to take part in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.
During a bilateral meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and his Panamanian counterpart Juan Carlos Varela on December 3, the countries, which only established diplomatic relations in 2017, announced 19 separates deals that saw China...

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