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Xi's visit to provide firm foundation for China-Panama ties: ambassador

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-01 22:17
A bird's-eye view of Panama Canal in Panama. [Photo/IC]

PANAMA CITY - Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visit to Panama is set to solidify the foundation of and chart the course for the long-term development of bilateral relations, said Chinese Ambassador to Panama Wei Qiang.

The Panamanian government and public are looking forward to Xi's visit, the first of its kind since the two countries established diplomatic relations in June 2017, Wei told Xinhua in a recent interview.

During the visit, Xi is scheduled to hold talks with his Panamanian counterpart, Juan Carlos Varela, on bilateral relations and major issues of common concern, said the ambassador.

He added that the two sides are expected to sign a series of cooperation documents covering such areas as e-commerce, services trade, infrastructure, financing and education.

Recalling the development of bilateral ties over the past 18 months, Wei said that the relationship has been moving forward "like a really good and solid high-speed train, not only fast but also steady."

The heads of state of the two countries have played a key guiding role by steering the relationship onto a path of fast and steady progress, said the ambassador.

On the basis of the one-China policy, the two sides have been expanding cooperation in the spirit of equality, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, which has benefited both peoples, he added.

Bilateral cooperation is underpinned by the complementarity of the two economies, Wei said, noting that Panama, known for its unique location on one of the world's busiest trade routes, has become an important regional hub for logistics, finance as well as air and sea transportation.

Panama has signed a memorandum of understanding with China on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and serves as a natural link between the BRI and Latin America, said the diplomat.

Within the BRI framework, he added, the two countries have carried out cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, trade, investment, maritime affairs, aviation, quality control, tourism as well as culture and education.

Meanwhile, Wei stressed that the establishment of China-Panama diplomatic relations is in line with the trend of the times and the will of both peoples.

He added that Chinese and Panamanian people from all sectors of the public support their countries' efforts to boost cooperation and contribute to world peace and development.

Looking ahead, Wei said he sees bright prospects for bilateral relations.

The two sides, he suggested, should continue to make use of their respective strengths, enhance mutual political trust, implement existing cooperation plans through practical measures, and gradually enrich their cooperation in order to deliver more tangible benefits to the people of China and Panama.

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