Xi: Ecuador has China’s ‘deep friendship’
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.