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Ecuador joins Chinese infrastructure bank, discusses ‘Belt and Road’ partnership

Ecuador’s foreign minister on Friday met China’s vice-president in Beijing, marking the formal entry of the country into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Jose Valencia

Diplomatic sources told EFE that Jose Valencia and Wang Qishan discussed structural and historical issues surrounding bilateral relations between China and Ecuador.

They also discussed how to take forward the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure and investment project which Ecuador joined last year.

Afterwards Valencia headed to the AIIB headquarters, where he submitted the accession protocol and received a certificate of membership from the bank.

The AIIB was established by China in 2014 to fund infrastructure projects in Asia and other parts of the world, and its members include countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela.

Later on, the Ecuadorean foreign minister met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and discussed progress in the strategic partnership and the agreements signed during Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Beijing visit in December last year.

According to the diplomatic sources, Wang and Valencia talked about the access and increased presence of Ecuadorean products in the Chinese market, a comprehensive partnership between China, Latin America and the Caribbean and celebrating 40 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Ecuador.

The two foreign ministers signed a cooperation agreement between the diplomatic academies of Ecuador and China.

Valencia began his China visit on Wednesday in Shanghai, were he stayed for two days, before arriving in Beijing. He will next travel to the city of Xian, where he will end his trip on Monday.

Moreno carried out a three-day state visit to China in December, establishing the basis of strategic cooperation between the two sides and formally signing up the Latin American country as a member of the BRI.

Beijing and the diplomatic and business delegation headed by Moreno signed a number of agreements related to prevention and management of natural disasters, cultural exchanges, security and judicial cooperation and civil aviation.

During the visit, Moreno also sought to boost cooperation in areas such as hydrocarbons, mining, infrastructure and finance, as well as arranging for investments to boost industrialization, social development and progress in Ecuador.
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Credit: Latin America Herald Tribune, www.laht.com