Panama analyzes locating the Chinese embassy on the shores of the interoceanic canal

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  • Thu, 09/13/2018 - 19:31
Juan Carlos Varela
  • EFE

The Panamanian Government said today that it is analyzing the construction of the Chinese embassy in an area located on the shores of the interoceanic canal, where 6 percent of world trade passes and whose main user is the United States.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela acknowledged on Wednesday that the so-called Calzada de Amador, which was a zone controlled by the United States when it administered the Canal, is one of the options under consideration, but he clarified that the decision is not yet taken and there are other options.

"It is an internal issue handled by the Government with another Government and a decision will be taken at the time (...) different, several options have been evaluated in Clayton, Amador, in different points, but in the end we always seek consensus because it is a very long-term issue that goes beyond the term of our government," the president told the media.

Amador, also known as the "Causeway", is a recently reformed promenade that joins the city of Panama with a set of Pacific islands full of restaurants and where one of the most important museums of the country is located, the Biomuseum, designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry.

The causeway, where a new convention center and a cruise port are also being built at the hands of a group of Chinese, offers privileged views of the Panama Canal, one of the great works of modern engineering built and managed by the United States until December 31, 1999.

Panama broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan last June and entered into relations with China, with whom it agreed to cede public lands for a period of 70 years to locate their respective embassies.

"In the history of Panama, we have never received land and assets in other countries in reciprocity," said Varela.

The embassy of Panama in the Asian giant will be located in two buildings of the diplomatic complex Liangmaqiao, in Beijing, according to the agreement reached by the nations, while the location of the Chinese delegation has yet to be decided, according to information from the National Assembly of Panama.

The diplomatic turn of Panama and other countries in the region, such as the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, has caused the government of President Donald Trump to call for consultations on August 7 to several of his diplomats in these countries.

President Varela insisted on Wednesday that there is "no type of tension" with the United States over the new ties with Beijing and declared that "Panama is a sovereign, neutral country that opens its doors and its canal to the world."

Several media outlets reported last week that a group of deputies are against the location of the Chinese embassy in Amador, as they consider it an offense to the sovereignty of the country and could even cause a diplomatic friction with the United States.

Taiwan, which only has 17 allies and 9 of them are in Latin America, is considered a sovereign territory since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949, but Beijing regards it as a rebel province and insists that it return to its homeland.

Taiwan is also one of the main reasons for the conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is the main arms supplier in Taiwan and it would be its biggest military ally in the event of an armed conflict with China, in accordance with an agreement signed in 1979.

Source- EFE

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