by Xinhua writer Cui Yuanlei
SANTO DOMINGO, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Dominican Republic will strengthen bilateral relations and promote cooperation across a number of fields, said Fu Xinrong, permanent representative of Office of Commercial Development of China in the Caribbean country.
China and the Dominican Republic signed a joint communique in Beijing Tuesday on the establishment of their diplomatic relationship.
It represents an irresistible trend and it has been a universal consensus of the international community to adhere to the one-China principle, said Fu on Tuesday.
In fact, before that, China and the Dominican Republic maintained good business and trade relations as well as cultural exchanges, all of which have paved the way for establishing the diplomatic ties, said Fu.
In October 1993, the two governments signed an agreement to set up offices in each other's capital city to promote trade. China's trade representative office in Santo Domingo opened in April 1994, and the Dominican Republic opened its office in Beijing in November 2005.
As the largest economy in Central America and the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is now China's second biggest trading partner in the region, and China the country's second-largest source of imports, according to official data.
Fu revealed that there have been several Chinese companies investing or are planning to invest in the Caribbean nation, something that will create more jobs for the local labor market.
"There are great potential for the two countries to carry out cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, energy, tourism and trade," said Fu.
Take tourism for example. The Dominican Republic draws over 6.5 million tourists annually from Europe and North America who enjoy the country's beautiful beaches on the Caribbean Sea. Tourists bring in more than six billion U.S. dollars in revenue.
With tourism one of the three major pillars of its economy, the Dominican Republic has set a target to receive more 10 million tourists by 2021, said Fu, adding that attracting more Chinese visitors is crucial in meeting the goal.
In terms of infrastructure, the Dominican Republic has a deep demand in investment and technology and China is now a leading country in this area, which shows that there is great potential for the two counties to cooperate, she added.
According to Fu, the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aiming to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes, is attractive to the Dominican Republic in improving its infrastructure.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the second ministerial meeting for China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Forum held in Santiago, Chile in January, China's top diplomat Wang Yi said China is willing to sign cooperation deals under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative with more countries in the region.
"Panama establishing diplomatic ties with China last June has set a good example for other countries in the region to follow," said Fu. Bilateral ties and cooperation between Panama and China have greatly improved since then.
Fu also called on companies in the Dominican Republic to actively participate in the China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November.
It will be a good platform for companies from both countries to boost mutual interests and enhance cooperation, added Fu.