Chinese FM says China, Panama can become long-term reliable partners

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-19 15:05:44|Editor: Song Lifang
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PANAMA CITY, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- 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.

The foreign minister hailed the first 100 days since China and Panama established diplomatic ties by giving it "a full score of 100 points."

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.

During these 100 days, the two sides opened their respective embassies in each other's countries, initiated negotiations on more than a dozen cooperation agreements concerning trade, investment, quality inspection, maritime transportation, aviation, finance, tourism, culture and justice so as to build up the basic framework for long-term development of China-Panama relations, he said.

Wang noted that a group of Chinese firms came to Panama a few days ago, and signed at once contracts for the export of Panamanian goods to Chinese markets valued at 38.7 million U.S. dollars.

He said China would like to join hands with Panama tightly and continue to strengthen exchanges at all levels and in various sectors so as to promote mutual understanding and trust.

Meanwhile, Wang 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 that China is willing to work with Panama to enhance the political foundation for bilateral ties, and is ready to volume up its communications and coordination with Panama in multilateral affairs, and help preserve Panama's legitimate rights on international occasions.

For her part, Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado said that 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.

She also noted that her country will firmly abide by the one-China policy and honor its promises in the joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations without having any form of official contacts or exchanges with Taiwan.

On Sunday, Wang also attended the inauguration ceremony of the Chinese embassy in Panama, together with Varela.

In a speech delivered at the ceremony, Wang said that although there were interruptions in the development of China-Panama relations, bilateral ties have finally embarked upon a correct path with bright prospects.

"This is a historic moment for China-Panama relations," Wang said, noting that the Chinese embassy will strictly observe its duty to implement the Chinese government's policy of friendship with Panama, so as to open up a new era of common development.

He said that the two countries were charting down a new long-term path which "will bring hope, cooperation and mutual benefits."

"History will remember that the decision to establish diplomatic relations between Panama and China met the fundamental, long-term interests of both countries," said Wang in the speech.

President Varela said that it was the will of both countries to build a "relationship of trust," accompanied by dialogue and mutual benefits.

Varela also vowed to "always seek common good and prosperity for our peoples."

Wang arrived in Panama on Saturday, where he was received by Varela.

In June, Panama became the second Central American country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, after Costa Rica in 2007.