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China, Nicaragua step up negotiations on free trade agreement Release date: 2023-02-13    Source:China Daily

China and Nicaragua agreed, on Saturday, to step up negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and advance the development of bilateral ties.

The pledge was made when Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, held talks with Laureano Ortega, adviser to the Nicaraguan president and Nicaragua's coordinator for cooperation with China, in Beijing.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said China and Nicaragua have witnessed rapid advancement of cooperation in various areas since the resumption of diplomatic relations.

Facts prove that the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Nicaragua is a right decision which will offer strong incentive to the overall development of bilateral relations, Wang said.

While calling for common development of the two countries, Wang said China is willing to deepen the experience-sharing on state governance and between political parties, and strengthening people-to-people exchanges with Nicaragua.

China and Nicaragua should accelerate the negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement to promote respective development by deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, Wang noted.

While thanking Nicaragua for their firm support to China in safeguarding its core interests, Wang said China will also speak up for Nicaragua on the international stage and urged the two countries to bolster strategic coordination in both regional and international affairs.

China is willing to work with Nicaragua to uphold basic norms governing international relations, particularly the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs, Wang said, adding that China hopes Nicaragua can play a positive role in promoting solidarity and cooperation between China and Latin American countries.

While appreciating China's strong support for his country's fight against the pandemic, and economic and social development, Laureano said Nicaragua firmly supports China in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as opposing external interference.

Nicaragua is willing to deepen inter-party exchanges, mutually beneficial cooperation, and advance negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement with China, he said as he also welcomed Chinese enterprises to invest and start business in Nicaragua.

Laureano also said Nicaragua supports China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative, adding the country is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China in multilateral affairs.

By Zhao Jia