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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama

On November 17, 2017, President Xi Jinping held talks at the Great Hall of the People with President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama, who was in China for a state visit.

Xi Jinping expressed that President Juan Carlos Varela is the first Panamanian president to visit China, and also the first visiting head of state from Latin American countries after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). I would like to extend warm welcome to President Juan Carlos Varela on behalf of the Chinese people.

Juan Carlos Varela said that he was very honored and proud that today he finally realized his long-cherished wish to pay a historic visit to China, a country with time-honored history, as President of Panama. He said that he climbed the Great Wall today, and keenly felt that the Great Wall represents the national spirit of China and perseverance of the Chinese people. President Juan Carlos Varela solemnly reiterated that Panama will unswervingly stick to the one-China policy and support China's peaceful reunification.

Xi Jinping said that as a Chinese saying goes, "One who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a hero". Your resolute political decision to establish diplomatic relations with China and your state visit to China today are heroic deeds and are highly appreciated by the Chinese people. History will remember your contributions. Xi Jinping stressed that the two peoples have maintained friendly exchanges for more than 160 years. The two countries have established diplomatic relations based on the one-China policy, hence the long-cherished wish of generations and generations in both countries has been realized. We just stood side by side while the national anthems of China and Panama were played successively, which was a long-expected moment for the two peoples and sent an important message to the world that the history of China-Panama relations has opened a new chapter. The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Panama today will benefit our future generations. Now we are shouldering the new historical mission, that is, to set the direction of, lay the foundation for and inject new impetus into China-Panama relations. I am very pleased to see that more and more exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two countries have been conducted rapidly since the establishment of China-Panama diplomatic relations five months ago, which can be regarded as a good start. China is ready to work with Panama to plan and promote bilateral cooperation toward a right direction and at a high speed, a high starting point and a high standard, so that China-Panama relations can overtake others and come from behind.

Xi Jinping stressed that China and Panama should be friends with equality and mutual trust. In developing relationship with Panama, China sincerely adheres to win-win cooperation, common development, and openness and inclusiveness, and friends from Panama will see China's practical actions. We should speed up the construction of the main framework for the development of bilateral relations, further enhance the comprehensive docking between various departments of the two countries in all aspects, and pool legislative institutions, political parties and local authorities together to form an unparalleled power for exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. As China regards Latin America as an indispensable and important participant of the "Belt and Road" initiative, Panama can surely be an important undertaking place for the natural extension of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road to Latin America. Both sides should, taking the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative as a guidance, strengthen the docking of development strategies so as to transform our complementary advantages into all-around cooperation advantages. We should have a number of early harvest cooperative achievements in such fields as maritime affairs, infrastructure construction, trade, investment and finance, and actively conduct exchanges and cooperation in areas that are close to people's life such as education and tourism at the same time.

Xi Jinping pointed that in the report of the 19th CPC National Congress, I stressed that China is committed to promoting the building of a community with shared future for mankind. In fact, the community with shared future for mankind is consistent with the Chinese dream. The Chinese dream reflects the greatest common divisor of Chinese people's expectations for a better life, and the community with shared future for mankind shows the greatest common divisor of longing for peace, development and prosperity by all people in the world. China is willing to work closely with Panama in international and regional stages and support Panama in continuously in playing a positive role in overall cooperation between China and Latin America so as to jointly contribute wisdom and strength to world peace and development.

Juan Carlos Varela noted that the friendship between Panama and China enjoys a time-honored history. The Panamanian people fully agree with the decision of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, which conforms to the interests of the two peoples and will promote Panama's development and improve the life of the Panamanian people. Great progress have been made in bilateral cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations five months ago, which lays a solid foundation for the long-term development of bilateral relations and proves again that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Panama and China is a right decision. It is believed that his visit to China will deepen bilateral relations. Panama stands ready to join hands with China to intensify high-level exchanges between the two countries, promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, boost mutually beneficial cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, finance, people's livelihood, poverty alleviation and infrastructure, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on such multilateral occasions as the United Nations. Panama is willing to become China's important friend in Latin America and actively promote the development of Latin America-China relations. Panama actively supports the great "Belt and Road" initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping and is willing to take an active part in the construction of the Maritime Silk Road by exploiting its own unique geographical advantages, and strengthen cooperation with China in areas such as ports, maritime affairs, shipping, railways and logistics so as to jointly contribute to extending the "Belt and Road" cooperation to Latin America and promoting world connectivity.

Juan Carlos Varela congratulated on the successful conclusion of the 19th CPC National Congress and Xi Jinping's re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. He fully agreed with the people-centered principles and policies formulated at the Congress and expressed his admiration for China's tremendous achievements in economic and social development as well as poverty alleviation and the Chinese people's perseverance.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the successful convening of the 19th CPC National Congress has set clear targets and a road map for China's future development till 2050. China's development enjoys promising prospects and history will further prove that it is absolutely correct to establish diplomatic relations between China and Panama.

Juan Carlos Varela said that the 19th CPC National Congress depicted a grand blueprint for China's future development, which is not only impressive for everyone in the world, but also of great significance for both China and the world. It is believed that China and the CPC will make greater contributions to world peace and human progress.

After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed together the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative, economy, trade, investment, shipping, railways, human resources, industrial parks, agriculture, quality inspection, civil aviation and tourism.

Before the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony for Juan Carlos Varela at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. President Xi Jinping's wife Mme. Peng Liyuan, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Ding Xuexiang, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Liu Xiaofeng and others were present at the ceremony.

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