PANAMA – The Chinese Ambassador to Panama, Wei Qiang, is already in the Central American country, with the intention of promoting “pragmatic” cooperation within the framework of the bilateral diplomatic ties established last June, an official source said on Saturday.
A statement from the Chinese Embassy, which was inaugurated last Sep. 17 by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, said Saturday that the diplomat stressed on his arrival in the country the role of Panama as a “logistics-commercial and financial hub.”
“Panama is the bridge of the world and it is a country with which we wish to develop good interstate relations that allow adequate promotion of pragmatic cooperation between both countries, for the benefit of our people and our peoples,” said Wei, according to the spokesperson.
China and Panama established diplomatic ties last June to the detriment of Taiwan, and Varela’s visit to Beijing is being prepared at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, which is expected to happen in November.
The Panamanian president, the first to officially visit China, said on Oct. 2 that a number of agreements will be signed in Beijing, including one that will signify the intention to negotiate a free trade agreement.
Last Tuesday, the Panamanian measure suspended the visas restricted to Chinese citizens, who will henceforth require a stamp, which will cost up to $50, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry also recalled that on Jul. 25, the Panama Embassy opened in Beijing and that the opening of consulates in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai was envisaged.