Chinese envoy confident about new relations with Panama

World Today

Wang Weihua

China’s top envoy to Panama is confident that new diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Central American nation will pay off. Wang Weihua currently serves as permanent trade representative but may become China’s first ambassador.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg spoke to Wang Weihua.

Panama took advantage of a “historic opportunity” when it severed ties with Taiwan and established relations with the Chinese mainland, Beijing’s envoy in Panama said.

Wang Weihua is the permanent representative of the Office of China-Panama Trade Development.

“For many years, under different Panamanian governments, they’ve had an interest in establishing diplomatic relations with China,” Wang said. “But given the current state of relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan region, I think President (Juan Carlos) Varela made a correct decision.”

The diplomat said Panama maintained a healthy economic relationship with the mainland before the establishment of formal diplomatic ties. China is the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal. Last year, more than 400 Chinese vessels went through the Canal, and paid $150 million in tolls.