Image via Wikipedia Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue, does not think that there is anything unusual about Costa Rica’s recognition of China, nor is it odd that China is Costa Rica’s number two trade partner. After all China is the third largest economy in the world right now. He thinks that the conspiracy talk about China wanting to control Central America is unfounded. Most likely China just wants to make money.
China does consider Costa Rica’s recognition as a feather in its cap, and it hopes that other countries will follow suit. China has tried to show appreciation by furnishing Costa Rica with gifts. China’s most elaborate gift to Costa Rica is the 83 million dollar soccer stadium, soon to be finished. The former US ambassador to Costa Rica, Frank McNeil, who also served some time in a post in East Asia, thinks such gifts are legitimate, but he does suggest that in the future Costa Ricans be allowed to work on projects, even if they are gifts. No Tico labor was used in the construction of the stadium. The Ambassador feels that the gift did not help Costa Rica develop because it offered no jobs.