Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a ceremony to welcome Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela on Friday, saying bilateral relations have "turned over a new leaf" with the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Varela is making his first state visit to China after the Central American nation established diplomatic relations with China in June.
"Chinese and Panamanians have had friendly exchanges for over 160 years. Forging diplomatic relations on the basis of the one-China principle meets the aspiration of generations of people in our two countries," Xi said.
"China-Panama relations have turned over a new leaf," Xi said, adding that China will work with Panama to jointly draw a blueprint for the development of bilateral relations.
Varela said he was proud to make the historic visit to China in the capacity of president, fulfilling his long-cherished wish. He inaugurated the Panamanian embassy in Beijing on Thursday and visited the Great Wall on Friday.
"I have experienced your national spirit and resilience represented by the Great Wall. I solemnly reaffirm Panama's adherence to the one-China principle and support for the peaceful reunification of China," Varela said.
"As the Chinese saying goes, a man who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. Your political decision to establish diplomatic ties with China and visit China is a feat of a hero," Xi told Varela. "Your contribution will be remembered in the history."
Xi said establishing diplomatic relations will benefit the generations to come and the two countries shoulder the mission to set the direction for future relationship.
Hailing the rapidly progressing bilateral cooperation in the past five months, Xi said China hopes to push forward cooperation so that bilateral relations enter a fast track.