Xi: Ecuador has China’s ‘deep friend­ship’

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AN BAIJIE in Quito, Ecuador an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn Xinhua con­trib­uted to this story.

China’s help to Ecuador will have no con­di­tions at­tached as the two coun­tries are mak­ing joint ef­forts to es­tab­lish the ties of brother­hood, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Thurs­day.

Xi made the re­marks while meet­ing with Ecuado­rian Pres­i­dent Rafael Cor­rea in Quito dur­ing his state visit to the South Amer­i­can coun­try. He is the first Chi­nese Pres­i­dent to visit Ecuador since diplo­matic re­la­tions were es­tab­lished be­tween the two coun­tries in 1980.

“I saw that the (Ecuado­rian) peo­ple were quite friendly along the street,” Xi said, adding that China aims to pro­vide prac­ti­cal help for the peo­ple of Ecuador.

“I come here with the deep friend­ship of the Chi­nese peo­ple and the best wishes for de­vel­op­ing bi­lat­eral ties,” Xi said in a speech de­liv­ered at the Quito air­port, where Pres­i­dent Cor­rea hosted a grand wel­com­ing cer­e­mony for the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, the two coun­tries signed a num­ber of co­op­er­a­tive doc­u­ments cov­er­ing ar­eas in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, fi­nance and in­vest­ment.

Cor­rea ex­pressed grat­i­tude for China’s fi­nan­cial sup­port in the coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture, say­ing that China has fi­nanced seven of Ecuador’s hy­dropower plants.

I saw that the (Ecuado­rian) peo­ple were quite friendly along the street.” Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, in re­marks upon ar­rival at Quito air­port on Thurs­day

“With the hy­dropower plants, Ecuador has be­come one of the world’s most ef­fi­cient coun­tries in the use of clean en­ergy,” he said, adding that as much as 90 per­cent of the coun­try’s power comes from re­new­able en­ergy, in­clud­ing hy­dropower.

China is now the third-big­gest trade part­ner for Ecuador, while Ecuador is China’s im­por­tant en­ergy part­ner in Latin Amer­ica, a ma­jor des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese in­vest­ment and fi­nanc­ing as well as a mar­ket for con­tract work.

Bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume reached $3.8 bil­lion in 2015 and prod­ucts in­clud­ing ba­nanas, shrimp and flow­ers ex­ported from Ecuador are fa­vored by Chi­nese con­sumers.

More than 90 Chi­nese com­pa­nies op­er­ate in Ecuador, and some have been in­volved in the coun­try’s big­gest projects, such as its largest hy­dro­elec­tric plant.

Wang Yulin, China’s am­bas­sador to Ecuador, said that ties be­tween China and Ecuador are at a cur­rent high and are poised to get an added boost from the Chi­nese pres­i­dent’s visit.

“Prag­matic eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ecuador has pro­duced pal­pa­ble ben­e­fits for peo­ple in both coun­tries and has re­ceived high praise from the Ecuado­rian peo­ple,” said Wang.

“China and Ecuador are highly com­ple­men­tary, nat­u­ral part­ners for co­op­er­a­tion in the eco­nomic field. They have enor­mous po­ten­tial for co­op­er­a­tion in such sec­tors as pro­duc­tive ca­pac­ity, in­vest­ment and clean en­ergy,” said Wang.

Ce­sar Navas, Ecuador’s min­is­ter of se­cu­rity and co­or­di­na­tion said Ecuado­ri­ans are truly grate­ful for the timely as­sis­tance China of­fered in the most dif­fi­cult pe­riod of time af­ter the earth­quake oc­curred in April.

“We trust Chi­nese qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency, which can help build a hos­pi­tal that will last 100 years,” he said.

Xi will visit three Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries start­ing on Thurs­day, in­clud­ing Chile and Peru, where he will at­tend the 24th Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Eco­nomic Lead­ers Meet­ing, to be held in Lima over the week­end.

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