Chinese infrastructure initiatives worth many billions of dollars appear to be paying dividends politically and economically.

Honduras, one of the last nations to recognize Taiwan as a state, recently made it known that it intends to sever diplomatic ties with the island. Since the US has historically supported Taiwan, switching allegiances would be a victory for China, which considers Taiwan to be under its control. Nevertheless, it would also signal a decline in US influence in Latin America.

It looks as though China is influencing everything. China had mediated a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia days before Chinese president Xi Jinping travelled into Moscow to discuss the Ukrainian crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The high-profile agreement aimed to repair Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s diplomatic, economic, and security ties in an effort to reduce tensions and increase stability in the Middle East. With the signing of the deal, China’s participation in the region shifts from being primarily motivated by commercial objectives to one that involves security cooperation to safeguard its expanding assets and expatriate population.

Commentators view the accord as a welcome move but are unsure of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s ability to reduce internal strife in a number of close-by nations. This is especially true in countries like Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen where they support oppositional parties. The agreement does highlight China’s growing influence and the decline of the U.S.