Panama flag flies proudly in Beijing

Xinhua
Visiting Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi inaugurated the Panama Embassy in Beijing yesterday.
Xinhua

Visiting Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi inaugurated the Panama Embassy in Beijing yesterday, five months after bilateral diplomatic ties were established.

“The inauguration ceremony is of historic significance,” said Varela. “Panama will firmly abide by the one-China principle and develop a friendly cooperation relationship with China.”

Varela’s visit to China, which will end next Wednesday, marks the first trip by a Panamanian leader to China since the two nations established diplomatic ties on June 13.

“The decision to establish diplomatic ties with China by President Varela is in accordance with the historical trend and serves the state, national and people’s interests of Panama,” said Wang.

China and Panama signed a joint communique on June 13 in which the government of Panama severed “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan and undertook not to have any more official relations or exchanges with Taiwan.

The state visit by Varela and the first meeting between the top leaders from the two countries will open a new era of common development, Wang said. 

Varela said he looked forward to the two countries participating in exchanges related to culture, trade and tourism. 

“From today onwards, Panama’s national flag will fly in the heart of China, its capital, Beijing,” Varela said.

At the end of the ceremony, Varela and Wang pulled down a curtain to reveal the embassy lettering and clinked glasses of champagne.

Last year, bilateral trade hit US$6.38 billion while China’s direct investment in the Central American country exceeded US$230 million.

Every year, China has over 1,000 ships passing through the 77-kilometer Panama Canal.

Valera is also to inaugurate a consulate in Shanghai.

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