|Wang Yi: China and Panama Are Both Old Acquaintances and New Friends|
On September 17, 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado of Panama jointly met the press in Panama City.
Wang Yi noted that China and Panama are old acquaintances as bilateral friendly exchanges enjoy a history of over 160 years. China and Panama are also new friends since the two countries officially established diplomatic relations just 3 months ago. From the long-term development of the country and the fundamental interests of its people, President Juan Carlos Varela made an important political decision of firmly adhering to the one-China policy, opening a new chapter in the history of China-Panama relations, for which China highly appreciates.
The Chinese government highly values China-Panama relations from a strategic height. This strategy is not a strategy of geographical competition, but a strategy of common development. China sticks to the path of peaceful development and commits to building a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation as the core. As Panama is an important country in Latin America, China is willing to make joint efforts with Panama to build this new type of international relations, and also stands ready to enhance bilateral cooperation in all fields under the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and other platforms.
Wang Yi said that President Juan Carlos Varela and I conducted a content-rich meeting, and I held the first political consultation between the two Foreign Ministries with Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado. The exchanges between both sides are comprehensive and in-depth with the extensive consensus being reached.
Both sides unanimously held that firmly upholding the one-China policy is the political basis for the establishment and development of China-Panama relations. No ambiguity or vacillation is allowed when it comes to this fundamental issue.
Both sides agreed to strengthen high-level exchanges and deepen political mutual trust. I have conveyed President Xi Jinping’s invitation to President Juan Carlos Varela for visiting China within this year. Both sides should speed up the preparatory work and intensify collaboration, so as to ensure the visit fruitful outcomes.
Both sides agreed to take the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” as an opportunity to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation for the benefits of the two peoples. The Panamanian side expressed the strong willingness to participate in the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, to which China expresses its welcome. China is willing to, together with Panama, jointly discuss speeding up and advancing cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, maritime transportation, civil aviation, finance, tourism, culture, and infrastructure.
Both sides agreed that as developing countries, China and Panama should support and help each other on issues of respective concerns and strengthen communication and coordination in regional and international affairs, in a bid to well safeguard the over-all interests of developing countries.