Chinese president's visit marks historic moment, says Ecuador's deputy FM

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/19 13:49:48

Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Ecuador marked a historic moment in bilateral ties, Ecuador's Deputy Foreign Minister Fernando Yepez has said.

"The visit to Ecuador by China's president truly marks a historic moment in our relations, which have been characterized, above all in recent years, by their strategic nature, permanent and deep dialogue, cooperation of all types and mutual benefit," Yepez told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Xi wrapped up his two-day state visit to Ecuador on Friday. The visit came after Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's official trip to Beijing in January 2015.

In a joint statement issued after Thursday's talks between the two presidents in Quito, China and Ecuador agreed to lift their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The South American country believed that Xi's visit serves to strengthen bilateral cooperation, which "continues on its upward path in strategic projects, in the economic field, and in the trade field," said Yepez.

"For Ecuador, China represents a friend, a strategic partner, a country with which we share fraternal ties of all kinds," he added.

China played an active role in the reconstruction effort following a powerful earthquake that devastated towns along Ecuador's northern coast on April 16, killing 673 people and leading to 3.34 billion US dollars in losses.

"China's cooperation has been felt," said Yepez, noting that Beijing sent some 5,400 tents and 10,000 foldaway beds to accommodate those who were suddenly left homeless.

Chinese financing, Yepez said, has been essential to the realization of emblematic development projects in Ecuador.

Exploring China's markets for new export products is one of the topics Ecuador hopes to broach after Xi's visit.

"We want to strengthen trade exchange by identifying market opportunities and better conditions for accessing the respective markets," Yepez said.

China is Ecuador's leading source of financing, which has allowed the Latin American country to significantly improve infrastructure by building hydroelectric plants, irrigation and flood-control projects, and highways.

Xi arrived in the Latin American nation on Thursday for a state visit, the first leg of his three-nation tour to the continent.

Besides Ecuador, the week-long tour also takes the Chinese president to Peru and Chile. In Peru, Xi will attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting from Saturday to Sunday in the capital city of Lima.


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