SAN SALVADOR, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Salvadoran politician Juan Manuel Flores has traveled to China more than 30 times.
Known as "El Chino"(the Chinese) for his Chinese roots as well as his endeavor to forge closer ties with China for over a decade, Flores is also president of the Salvadoran Association of Friendship with China.
He has taken part in dozens of events, including expos, to introduce Salvadoran entrepreneurs to the Chinese market.
So when China and El Salvador established diplomatic relations on Aug. 21, Flores felt his years of efforts had paid off finally.
"I've been waiting for this news for ages," said Flores, who is also a member of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. "I've taken businessmen, politicians, mayors to China. We've learned about the (Chinese) initiatives. (We also hold) expectations for commercial exchange, Chinese investment in El Salvador and (by) Salvadoran businessmen in China."
Flores hopes that now, with embassies and consulates to be established in both countries, there will be more opportunities, especially for Salvadoran businessmen who had been trying to do business with China since the days when there were no diplomatic relations.
Chinese-Salvadoran cooperation can now expand to areas such as education and culture, with the establishment of China's Confucius Institutes in El Salvador, the introduction of scholarship programs, as well as exchange activities in agriculture, and especially in areas that create more jobs.
The politician said the proposal for a special economic zone is in process. It could be a window for introducing Chinese investment.
With regard to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Flores said the possibility of El Salvador becoming part of the project increases with the new diplomatic relations.
"It is something no one wants to be left out of," he remarked.
Personally for Flores, the focus will always be on cultivating a relationship based on friendship.
"Let's be clear, for China's friendship is a very important factor; and that's what we want to cultivate," he said.