China, Panama hail prospects of ties as foreign ministers meet

China and Panama hailed the prospects of their relationship and the potential of their cooperation as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes met Monday in Tunxi, China’s Anhui Province (east).

In June 2017, China and Panama established diplomatic relations, with the Panamanian government recognizing that there is only one China in the world, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal representative government. the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers agreed that the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides has been proven to be correct and has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples.

China is ready to work with Panama to make bilateral relations a fine example of mutual respect between countries of different sizes, unity and cooperation between developing countries, and exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations, Mr. Wang said.

He added that efforts should be made to enhance political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and multilateral coordination between the two countries.

Noting that she was the first foreign minister from a Latin American country to visit China since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Mouynes stressed the importance that Panama attaches to the development of relations with China, and thanked China’s support in his country’s fight against the pandemic.

Panama cherishes mutual trust with China and will be firmly committed to the one-China principle, Mouynes said.

The two sides also pledged to consider reviving negotiations on a free trade agreement and to strengthen cooperation in the fields of agriculture and food, among others.

China-CELAC relations

Regarding China’s relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Wang said China supports CELAC’s construction and its independent exploration of a development path that responds to its own conditions and the pursuit of foreign policies based on its own needs. .

China is ready to work with CELAC to build an equal, mutually beneficial, innovative, open and people-beneficial relationship, Wang said.

Mouynes said that Panama firmly adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and that Latin American and Caribbean states are not the “backyard” of any country.

She called on Central American and Caribbean countries to transcend ideological differences and work together for common development.

On the Panama Canal

The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukrainian issue.

Noting that the current geopolitical conflict has highlighted the value and strategic importance of the Panama Canal, Mouynes said that Panama disapproves of unilateral sanctions easily imposed internationally and is committed to the permanent neutrality of the channel and hope China can support it.

Wang said China respects and recognizes the permanent neutrality of the Panama Canal.

China stands ready to work with developing countries, including Panama, to practice genuine multilateralism, reject unilateralism and oppose hegemonic practices, he added.

In an interview with CGTN, the Panamanian foreign minister said her meeting with Wang “went very well” and that she was delighted to be in China, the first leg of her four-nation tour. Asia.

Mouynes called for more trade between Panama and China and spoke highly of the potential for cooperation in logistics.

“We have the Panama Canal Free Zone. Most of the products that come in there and then are distributed in the region come from China,” she told CGTN.

(CGTN’s Dong Xue contributed the story.)