Claiming that much of the success of Ecuador’s “citizen’s revolution” is the result of assistance from the government of China, President Rafael Correa yesterday welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan. It was the first official visit to Ecuador by a Chinese president.
Xi Jinping is also making official visits to Peru and Chile in conjunction with this weekend’s 2016 Asia Pacific Economic Forum in Lima.
During a whirlwind of meetings on Thursday in Quito, Ecuador and China signed 11 bilateral agreements ranging from trade to mining and energy. In addition, Ecuador secured loan and funding commitments for a massive oil refinery near Manta and to construct a complex of medical research facilities at Yachay University and Ecuador’s so-called City of Knowledge.
Xi Jinping was accompanied by dozens of Chinese officials who will continue working on Friday with Ecuadorian officials on details of the new agreements
In his welcome comments, Correa referred to the changing dynamic of trade and economic power in Latin America, away from the U.S., toward China. “The times are changing and China will be at the vanguard of future change in the world. Today, everyone understands that the world economy depends on the Chinese dragon.”
Correa also thanked Xi Jinping for Chinese assistance following April’s coastal earthquake. Xi Jinping responded by thanking the Ecuadorian people for their hospitality.