BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- China and the Dominican Republic signed a joint communique here Tuesday on the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relationship.
The communique was signed by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas.
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean state located in the east of the island Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago. The country, with a land area of 48,734 sq km and a population of 11 million, borders Haiti in the west, and has the Atlantic off the north and Puerto Rico to the east across the Mona Passage, which connects the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea.
The South American country was originally the native land of the American-Indians and its capital Santo Domingo, which was built by Spanish colonists in 1496, was the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. Its independence, first from Spanish rule and then from Haiti's annexation, came in February 1844 when the Dominican Republic was founded after the victory of a war for independence.
The country saw some 30 years of dictatorship until 1961 by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo who took power via a military coup. It then suffered a civil war which ended in 1965 with the military occupation of the United States. The country restored democracy in 1966, and has been ruled by the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) since 2004.
Tourism, export processing and remittance from abroad form the economic pillars for the Dominican Republic. Its exports include sugar, coca, coffee, tobacco, clothing as well as gold, silver and nickel-iron alloy products. Imports range from oil, fuel, food and mechanical and electrical products to chemical raw materials.
In 2017, its imports totaled 18 billion U.S. dollars and exports stand at 8.8 billion dollars.
China has become the country's second largest source of imports. China's customs data put bilateral trade close to 1.9 billion dollars in 2017, an increase of 10.3 percent from the previous year.
In October 1993, the two countries signed an agreement to mutually set up offices to promote trade. In April 1994, China opened its trade representative office in Santo Domingo, and in November 2005, the Dominican Republic opened its trade representative office in Beijing.