Chinese naval hospital makes first goodwill stop in South America

LIMA, Peru -- A Chinese naval hospital ship is making a first-ever call at a South American port in a sign of the Asian economic giant's growing influence in the resource-rich region.

See Full Article

The Peace Ark, with 500 beds and 118 medical professionals, docked Monday at a port outside Peru's capital of Lima for a seven-day service visit. It's the last destination on a three-month mission that also included stops in Australia, Mexico, Barbados, Grenada and the U.S. The 229-metre ship is expected to perform 2,000 free medical procedures during its stay in Peru.

"We're very thankful because during this holiday season they're going to give the gift of health care," Peruvian Health Minister Anibal Velasquez said at a ceremony alongside China's ambassador to Peru.

Such goodwill visits have been a mainstay of U.S. diplomacy in Latin America for decades, the latest being the hospital ship USS Comfort's visit to 11 nations during a regional tour earlier this year. But the Chinese outreach is more recent, having gained momentum as the country's demand for Latin America's natural resources has soared over the past decade.

"It's definitely an approach that was partially inspired or learned from U.S. actions," said Evan Ellis, an expert on China-Latin America relations at the U.S. Army War College in Carlyle, Pennsylvania. "It's like the Boy Scouts. You show up and see who you can help."

While Ellis says the humanitarian mission in what has traditionally been Washington's backyard shouldn't set off alarm bells, the timing of the visit, with the U.S. distracted by unrest elsewhere, is propitious for Chinese aims of gradually expanding its military influence around the world.

"It's not necessarily nefarious, but one does notice what is happening," Ellis said. "It impacts the U.S. position as the partner of choice" for several Latin American countries.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • You can make a difference by donating your old bicycle

    Canada News CTV News
    If you have an old bicycle gathering dust in your garage, there’s a far better use for it. A new photography exhibit at Montreal’s Photo Café shows how donated bicycles can change the lives of people around the world. Source
  • French citizens in Montreal express mixed reactions to early election results

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- French nationals in Montreal expressed mixed reactions on Sunday as preliminary results showed far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading in the first round of France's presidential election. At a French cultural centre in Montreal, both applause and boos rang out as a French TV station announced its projections just after the vote closed at 2 p.m. Source
  • 'He can't think straight': Mom pleads for teen charged with threatening Jewish centres

    World News CBC News
    An Israeli-American teenager accused of making dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centres was identified for the first time on Friday in separate criminal complaints filed in U.S. federal courts in Florida and Georgia that linked him to hundreds of hoax calls in 2015 and 2017. Source
  • American monitor killed in Ukraine when mine hits vehicle

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- An American member of the OSCE's monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine died Sunday and two others were wounded when their vehicle was blown up by a mine in the separatist Luhansk region. The mission's deputy head, Alexander Hug, said the member killed was from the U.S. Source
  • How Kenya's drought has turned into violence: AP explains

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- The shooting of a novelist and conservationist in Kenya has drawn attention to the violent tensions between landowners and herders who are trying to keep their animals alive in a widespread drought. Source
  • U.S. officials say pirates have returned to waters off Somalia

    World News CTV News
    DJIBOUTI -- Pirates have returned to the waters off Somalia, but the spike in attacks on commercial shipping does not yet constitute a trend, senior U.S. officials said Sunday. The attacks follow about a five-year respite for the region, where piracy had grown to crisis proportions during the 2010-2012 period, drawing the navies of the United States and other nations into a lengthy campaign against the pirates. Source
  • Centrist Emmanuel Macron, far-right Marine Le Pen to face off May 7 in runoff vote, pollsters project [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PARIS — Amid heightened security, French voters began casting ballots for their next president Sunday in a first-round poll that’s being seen as a litmus test for the future of Europe and the spread of populism around the world. Source
  • Trump at 100 days: 'It's a different kind of presidency'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- For nearly 100 days, President Donald Trump has rattled Washington and been chastened by its institutions. He's startled world leaders with his unpredictability and tough talk, but won their praise for a surprise strike on Syria. Source
  • Bill O'Reilly's No Spin News podcast returns Monday

    World News CBC News
    It's been less than a week since conservative television personality Bill O'Reilly was fired from Fox News and he's already heading back to the airwaves in a podcast from his website. The 67-year-old former host of the longtime, highest-rated Fox news show The O'Reilly Factor is set to release a new podcast on his personal website Monday at 7 p.m. Source
  • Two Canadians the latest addition to U.S.'s most-wanted terrorist list

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Two Canadians are the latest addition to the United State's list of most-wanted terrorists that says the men are a threat to American national security and economic interests. The decision to add 24-year-old Farah Mohamed Shirdon and 30-year-old Tarek Sakr to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists was published Wednesday in an official register of U.S. Source