Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Panama to open new embassy

World Today

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in Panama to preside over the opening of a new embassy. The facility will provide a visible symbol of the new diplomatic relations between the countries, and could open the floodgates to new Chinese investment.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Panama City on Saturday. On Sunday, he will help inaugurate China’s embassy following the establishment of diplomatic relations agreed in the summer.
In practice, China and Panama had close contacts for decades. Panama has the largest Chinese community in Central America, and China is the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal.
Diplomatic ties only became possible when Panama severed relations with the authorities in Taiwan.
“Before these diplomatic relations, there were companies that did not feel comfortable coming to Panama and investing here,” said Luis Miguel Hincapie, vice foreign minister of Panama. “We believe that now this will change, and more business will come.”
There are still a few other countries in the region that do not have diplomatic relations with Beijing. “Panama’s decision sets an example and sends a very clear message to other countries in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Wang Weihua, the charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy.