The topic covered in the news article following, namely the Panama Canal, highlights an issue that is demonstrative of a greater global trend.
As China continues to grow in strength, both economically and militarily, it becomes an evermore real threat to US global hegemony. The US currently controls the Panama Canal, yet China is a massive user of the facility. The Panamanian government realize this and are making moves to cozy up to China. It might be that the Panamanian government see a future wherein China is the largest customer, and so seek to align themselves with the future top dogs whilst also reducing the strength of the US grip upon the lucrative waterway.
Additionally, China is contemplating the creation of a second channel through Nicaragua, which would compete with the Panama version and constitute serious competition to the US-run facility.
It all shows how there is certain to be an increase in friction between the US and China, in an economic and commercial war played out across the planet.
Past behaviour would indicate that, when the US views any nation as a threat to its interests, regardless of how legal that threat might be, the US will take steps to remove said threat by fair means or foul.
As any open hostilities will occur further down the line, we should look for smaller signs of how the US is moving its pieces across the global board, and how China (and other nations such as Russia) are attempting to stay at least one step ahead.