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Panama reaffirms adherence to One China Policy, vows to deepen bilateral cooperation

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    15:59, November 20, 2017

Visiting Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela (1st R) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (1st L) inaugurate the Panamanian Embassy in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 16, 2017. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela on Monday reiterates Panama’s stance on the One China policy, noting that the two countries’ newly established diplomatic ties were based on mutual understanding and agreement.

“I decided to establish diplomatic ties with China a decade ago, and the promise has finally come true. The decision of establishing mutual ties has nothing to do with our trade and economic cooperation, but because of a mutual understanding that both nations deem correct. I think the two nations will have better relations in the future,” Varela told People’s Daily Online.

Varela also reiterated that Panama will stick to the One China Policy, promoting China’s successful experience with other nations in Latin America, as well as serving as a role model when it comes to diplomatic relations with China.

The remarks were made during the Panamanian President’s visit to China from Nov.16 to 22. This marks the first trip by a Panamanian leader to China since the two nations established diplomatic ties on June 13.

According to Varela, authorities from both nations have confirmed 12 major cooperation areas, including judicial cooperation, maritime logistics, and transportation. He also noted that the two nations’ bilateral ties and trade have entered a new era, with 19 agreements being signed in the last five months.

The president noted that due to Panama’s unique and convenient geographic position, the two nations will have more cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in infrastructure and transportation construction.

“Simón Bolívar, a famous politician of the Great Republic of Colombia, has proposed to build a railway that runs from Panama to the border of Costa Rica, in a final effort to connect Central America. We want to make it happen in 2026, and we hope China could use its technologies and investment to help us build it,” said Varela.

In addition to infrastructure and transportation, Valera also attached great importance on the two nations tourism cooperation, noting that two consulates will soon be built in Shanghai and Guangzhou, while a favorable visa policy for Chinese citizens has already been put into effect.

“Chinese citizens used to wait for 6 months to get their Panamanian visa, but now the time has been reduced to 28 to 48 hours. A new airline from Beijing to Panama city will be established in March 2018, while Panama and China plan to build cruise ports along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts so that Chinese tourists can enjoy our cruise programs,” said Valera.

“Good relations between China and Panama will not only benefit the two nations but will also promote world peace, helping China to expand its influence in Latin America and Caribbean areas,” Valera added. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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