Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L), Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (C) and Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama's vice president and foreign minister, attend a signing ceremony in Panama City, on Sept. 17, 2017. Wang hold the first political consultation between the two governments with his Panamanian counterpart here on Sunday. (Xinhua/Dan Hang)
PANAMA CITY, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Sunday that China and Panama can become long-term reliable partners that can enjoy shared progress and prosperity.
Wang made the remarks while meeting with Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama's vice president and foreign minister, during his visit to the Latin American country.
Over the past more than three months since the two countries established diplomatic ties, the two sides have seen intensive exchanges and early results of bilateral cooperation, said Wang.
He noted that China welcomes Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to visit China later this year so as to boost the two countries' cooperation in economy, trade, investment, industrial capacity, maritime transportation, aviation, tourism and culture.
Wang also said China is willing to work with Panama to enhance the political foundation for bilateral ties, adding that he believes Panama will well handle the issue of Taiwan according to their joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations, and carry out its various promises.
China is ready to volume up its communications and coordination with Panama in multilateral affairs, and help preserve Panama's legitimate rights on international occasions, he added.
For her part, Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado said her country values its traditional friendship with China, and welcomes more Chinese businesses to invest in Panama.
The Latin American country hopes to negotiate and reach a free trade agreement with China as early as possible and to cooperate with China in infrastructure, finance, maritime transportation, aviation, tourism and culture so as to benefit the two peoples, she said.
Panama supports China's Belt and Road Initiative, and hopes to be a part of it, the minister said, adding that her country would like to be a bridge that links China with other countries in the region.
Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado also noted that her country shall firmly abide by the one China policy and implement its promises in the joint communique without having any form of official contacts or exchanges with Taiwan.
Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.