BEIJING – China and Panama established on Tuesday diplomatic relations and agreed to start working together towards their first bilateral agreements.
With this move, Panama breaks off all ties with Taiwan.
The new agreement was signed in Beijing at a ceremony led by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Panama’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo.
“This is a historic moment,” said Wang, who called Panama an important country in Latin America and stressed that the decision taken by the Panamanian government responded to the fundamental interests of the country and the people.
Hailing the “new chapter” in China-Panama relations, Wang said the Latin American country joins the international community in recognizing the “one China” principle.
He added that the establishment of diplomatic relations opens “broad prospects” for “mutually beneficial cooperation” aimed at the development and prosperity of both countries.
Saint Malo, meanwhile, said that Panama and China had taken a very significant step and welcomed the start of a strategic alliance that will benefit both countries.
She recalled that 10 years ago the present Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela had backed the establishment of ties with China and that with Tuesday’s signing, Panama had ratified that vision, recognizing the one-China policy, convinced that that is the correct path.
According to the minister, Panama and China will now work on a comprehensive bilateral agenda, a collaboration based on trust and mutual respect and focused on the best interests of the people of both countries.
Highlighting that, Saint Malo announced the immediate activation of working groups in Panama to work with Beijing on bilateral agreements in sectors including tourism, agriculture, maritime affairs and education.