Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to 13 joint projects, as reported by Reuters on November 8. While no details regarding the joint projects were disclosed, China has agreed to give El Salvador USD150m of foreign aid. While are most of the areas for collaboration are expected to be infrastructure and education related, China will also donate three thousand tons of rice to flood and drought-stricken El Salvador.
El Salvador is among a number of smaller or impoverished nations in Latin America that recently switched diplomatic relations to China, including the Dominican Republic and Panama. The past decade saw increasing Chinese trade, investment, and financial support to debt-laden Latin American governments which have stirred US concerns. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Chinese Foreign Ministry recently aired a dispute his accusatory comments regarding China-Latin American investments. Pompeo and US Vice-President Mike Pence have warned countries in the region against reliance on economic ties with China during repeated visits. However, many nations such as inflation hit Argentina collaborate extensively with China as an alternative to the IMF which impose harsh precondition. For example, Argentina and China have signed a currency swap totaling RMB70bn, and are looking to expand it by another RMB60bn.