Details awaited on new strategic alliance with China

Business leaders and opposition politicians are anxious to hear the details of what the Costa Rican president describes as a strategic alliance with the People’s Republic of China.

The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, characterized the country’s relations with the Asian giant that way and said the association would last for at least 10 years.

This strategic alliance would seem to be much larger than simply agreeing with China to install some free trade zone and manufacturing facilities. The implication is that Costa Rica would help China achieve some policy and political goals.

Not the least of these is China’s proposal to have the United Nations control the worldwide Internet. That control now is in the hands of the Internet Corporation for  Assigned Names and Numbers. China and other countries have been pushing without success for years to bring these controls into the U.N.  International Telecommunication Union.

The United Nations already has declared that Internet access is a human right, and China has called for eliminating religious extremism on the Internet. That would seem to mean any support for the occupied Tibetans or other minority groups in China.

China already has launched an internal campaign to eliminate Web sites and discussion lists not favored by the government. Many human rights groups have issued criticism.

Costa Rican officials already are big fans of the United Nations. In addition, China would like to convert other Latin countries from diplomatic relation with Taiwan, which China considers to be a breakaway province. Reclaiming Taiwan is a major policy goal.

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