BEIJING – Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela is set to begin a state visit to China between Nov. 16-22, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
During his visit, Varela will hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and preside over the signing of agreements, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press briefing.
“Since the establishing of diplomatic ties about five months ago, our relations took off fast,” said Hua, adding that embassies have been set up in both countries to promote trade and investment cooperation.
Varela is also expected to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing, and visit Shanghai, the economic capital of the Asian giant, the spokesperson said.
It is the first visit of a Panamanian president to China, and comes after the Latin American country broke off ties with traditional ally Taiwan and established bilateral relations with China.
“We are highly complemented in each other’s development and we should speed up our development,” the spokesperson added.
After establishment of diplomatic ties in mid-September, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had visited Panama to begin negotiations on different cooperation agreements and to officially inaugurate the Beijing embassy.