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Interview: Varela's visit to China opens new chapter of China-Panama relations: ambassador
Last Updated: 2017-11-16 16:09 | Xinhua
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The state visit of Panamanian President Panama Juan Carlos Varela to China will mark a new chapter in bilateral ties, Wei Qiang, Chinese ambassador to Panama, told Xinhua.

Varela will visit China on Nov. 16-22 at the invitation of Chinese PresidentXi Jinping. This will be the first trip by a Panamanian leader to China since the two sides established diplomatic ties in June.

Wei said Varela will meet with Xi, as the first Latin American head of state to do so after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last month in Beijing.

The ambassador noted that China attaches great importance to its ties with Panama and stands ready to boost mutual political trust, improve friendly exchanges and mutual cooperation in various fields, promote each other's development and bring benefits to both peoples.

He said the two leaders would also witness the signing of a series of bilateral agreements and the Panamanian leader is also set to visit Shanghai.

"We believe that the state visit of President Varela will create great opportunities for the development of Sino-Panamanian relations and will open a new era of common development in both nations," said Wei.

With its privileged geographical position, Panama constitutes one of the world's most important maritime transportation hubs.

In recent years, faced with higher transport and logistical demands, the Panamanian government expanded the capacity of the Panama Canal, improving its maritime, air and logistical operations.

"The establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations is in accordance with the historical trend, representing the will of both peoples and is applauded by Panama's various sectors as well as by the international community," said Wei.

In the past five months, relations have developed swiftly with the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, trade, investments, quality control, maritime transportation, aviation, finance, tourism, culture and judicial administration, among others, said the ambassador.

Wei, the first Chinese ambassador to the country, said that bilateral ties face a historic opportunity as socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era.

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