Panama-China new ties not to affect canal's operation, says waterway's CEO

Updated 2017-06-16 14:22:40 Xinhua

Panama's newly-established diplomatic relations with China will not negatively affect the Panama Canal's operation, the waterway's CEO Jorge Luis Quijano said on Thursday.

The only thing that influences transit through the canal is trade, which determines the number of cargo ships that need to use the waterway, Quijano told reporters at a press conference.

The canal maintains excellent commercial ties with all its clients, he said.

"This canal is neutral. Cargo ships from around the world pass through here (and) none have been restricted. What we demand is that they fulfill all international regulations to pass through the Panama Canal," said Quijano.

While establishing ties with China won't negatively affect the canal's operation, it could benefit the Central American country's investment outlook at a time when China is investing in projects throughout Latin America, he said.

China is the second largest user of the Panama Canal, and ties between China and Panama go back more than 160 years.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela announced late Monday in a televised speech that his country has established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

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