El Salvador ratifies agreement with China after officials named by US as corrupt

Photo by Wilson Edilberto Santana Suarez 

The President of the Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro has announced on Twitter that El Salvador will ratify a framework cooperation agreement with China in order to boost Chinese investment in agriculture, trade, tourism and sports, and in an effort to facilitate economic and technical cooperation. Though negotiations have been ongoing between China and the Bukele Administration since 2019, having accelerated in recent months, the confirmation that an agreement would be ratified appears to coincide with the release of the US State Department’s list of officials designated as corrupt. The list includes 17 Central American public officials, including Carolina Recinos, a close aide of President Bukele, as well as his former Security Minister, Rogelio Rivas, both “credibly alleged” to have engaged in corrupt acts, according to US authorities. The list also includes Honduran and Guatemalan legislators and former officials. 

After the release, Bukele said on Twitter the list was about “geopolitics” not fighting corruption, lauding China’s commitment to invest US$500m in El Salvador “without conditions,” an apparent contrast to the conditions placed on aid from Washington.

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