November 11, 2022
BEIJING – China on Thursday highly commended El Salvador’s decision to end its “free-trade agreement” with the Taiwan region, saying that the move was in the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries.
“It once again shows that standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular news briefing, adding that adherence to the principle represents the trend of the world, and that it enjoys the overwhelming support of the international community and cannot be stopped by any force.
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador upheld on Monday the suspension of the “free-trade agreement” with Taiwan. The Central American nation established diplomatic ties with China after severing its “relations” with the island in 2018.
Noting that the decision signified the complete abolition of the so-called “free-trade pact”, Zhao said that “China highly appreciates that El Salvador has stood on the right side of history”.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele and Chinese ambassador to El Salvador Ou Jianhong announced on Wednesday that China and El Salvador would begin free-trade talks. Both sides said they would work together to complete the process of negotiating a bilateral free-trade pact as soon as possible.
A Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said on Thursday that the announcement intended to further tap the potential of economic and trade cooperation as well as elevate cooperation between the two countries.
The spokesperson said that China and El Salvador have acted on the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results.
Substantial growth of bilateral trade in recent years has fully reflected the resilience and development space of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, the spokesperson added.
China’s General Administration of Customs said that the trade volume between China and El Salvador reached $1.73 billion in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 55.9 percent.