Chinese President Xi Jinping is on his first official visit to Panama City, with the aim of surging up political and economic ties.
Ahead of his visit, Xi heaped compliments on Panama in a column that he penned in local newspaper Estrella de Panama, saying the country enjoyed “world fame for the Panama Canal, geisha coffee, and tasty tropical fruits such as bananas.”
He said China and the Central American nation were “natural partners” to cooperate on China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, a Chinese government strategy to build global infrastructure projects.
In 2017, the two countries established diplomatic relations after Panama broke off ties with Taiwan, which China views as a wayward province with no right to bilateral relations. The Dominican Republic and El Salvador followed suit in cutting out Taiwan in favour of China.