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US mulled penalizing El Salvador over China ties

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Trump administration considered severely penalizing El Salvador this month for severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in a move that officials said was intended to signal a significant widening of the administration’s pushback against China, the New York Times reported.

The effort ultimately fizzled over concerns that the penalties — eliminating some foreign aid and imposing visa restrictions on certain individuals — would have made El Salvador unwilling to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States.

The threat set off a furious internal debate between the White House and State Department, and pit American diplomats focused on China against those working on issues in the Western Hemisphere.