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The Planned Chinese Embassy in Panama


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Chinese Embassy in Panama opens contest on opinion of the bilateral relationship

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 11:37

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The Embassy of China in Panama opened the "New Perspectives for China and Panama" contest, aimed at communicators and the general audience that can participate with opinion articles, photos and videos that express their vision of the new diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

The projects of those people interested in participating, "with information about their opinions and experiences with China," may be presented from Tuesday until June 11, the Embassy informed through a press release.

"In this contest, which is held as part of the commemoration of the first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, participants can also refer to their knowledge of the Chinese community in Panama," said the official information.

The prizes will include a trip to China with the opportunity to take a seminar and get to know the oriental culture, to the acquisition of electronic devices. The results of the contest will be announced at the end of June and the official delivery of the respective awards will be made, said the press release.

Panama and China established diplomatic relations on June 12, 2017, to the detriment of Taiwan.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/panama/chinese-embassy-panama-opens-contest-opinion-bilateral-relationship-6760

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

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 19:31

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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.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panama-analyzes-locating-chinese-embassy-shores-interoceanic-canal-7836

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China Embassy location upsets honeymoon

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President Varela
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President  Juan Carlos Varela, says that the establishments of diplomatic relations with China has been one of the most important decisions in the history of Panamanian foreign policy and The Executive will officially communicate the site assigned for the construction of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, after having evaluated the available options.

 But the possible construction on the Amador Causeway has generated controversy in the early days of the Panama-China love in, while the dowry in the shape of a Free Trade  Agreement is still under discussion and relatives like the US  State Department are feeling neglected.

Fermín Chan, president of the Chinese-Panamanian Cultural Center, said today that he does not agree that the construction of the embassy is on the shore of the Panama Canal because this place is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty.

Panama mayor and would be president  José Isabel Blandón wrote on his Twitter account that in, there is no approved land that allows the construction of an embassy.

“If something like this is considered, this must first be considered by the Municipal Planning Board, who must call a public consultation,” he said.

OB Friday, September 7, the United States Department of State called its diplomats in Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic for consultations on current relations with China.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/columns/the-cuff/china-embassy-location-upsets-honeymoon

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Lack of clarity  in Panama-China agreements

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The government of President Varela, who signed an agreement on behalf of Panama, with President Xi Jinping, of the People’s Republic of China is being criticized for lack of transparency with multiple voices raised over the possibility of siting the Chinese embassy in Amador.

Critics say the Executive has not fully revealed the contents of the agreements something that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected reports La Prensa.

On January 31, 2018, the government announced that the Cabinet Council had approved the agreements signed in November 2018, as part of the official visit to Beijing. They alluded at that time to Civil Air Transport and Maritime Transport. Nothing was said about the agreement to the leasing of the new embassy offices in the respective countries, under the concept of reciprocity and that it will be sealed through A 70 years extendable lease agreement, for a symbolic value of $ 1.

However, a week later, on February 7, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luis Miguel Hincapié, presented before the plenary of the Assembly three bills one for each of the agreements. They were approved in the first debate by the Foreign Relations Committee on February 28, and on March 1 were approved in second debate before the plenary session.

But says  La  Prensa of the 25 documents that emerged from the meeting between Xi and Varela only these three received debates in the legislature

The rest of the agreements are considered inter-institutional or simplified agreements, which according to the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, do not require such a procedure,” Nadia Montenegro, director in charge of Foreign Ministry legal issues.

Of the texts agreed upon 15 are Memorandums of Understanding, 6 are agreements (including a framework agreement) and one is an agreement of economic and technical cooperation. In addition, there are two exchanges of notes, one relating to the establishment of a consulate in Shanghai and another on non-reimbursable educational cooperation, and a communication in which a 21-day workshop for 20 journalists paid for by the Chinese government.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/lack-of-clarity-in-panama-china-agreements

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In Panama, Panamanian flags are raised where the Chinese embassy would rise

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 08:06

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Dozens of activists of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) of Panama and another independent group planted Panamanian flags this Saturday in Amador, the tourist site where the Chinese embassy is being studied.

In the afternoon citizen groups showed up in Amador, on the shores of the Panama Canal, to place the national flag on the land and monuments of the place in rejection of the possible location of the diplomatic headquarters in those emblematic lands of the struggle for recovery of the interoceanic road, which was achieved in 1999.

Those who arrived at noon were PRD activists, led by the former Governor Martin Torrijos (2004-2009), who expressed his "rejection" to the announcement made by the Panamanian President, Juan Carlos Varela, that a study was being made to assign a plot of land in that area to the Chinese.

In those lands, a former US naval base that was the first to revert to Panama in 1979 thanks to the Canal treaties, a mausoleum is erected in honor of General Omar Torrijos, who succeeded in getting the US committed in 1977 to transfer the waterway to Panamanians in 1999, after 85 years of controlling it.

Its symbolism is such, Martin Torrijos told reporters, that "many Panamanians feel insulted" by the mere suggestion that a flag of another country flames in that territory and therefore planted the national flag to express their rejection.

Then another group of people, coming from the peripheral community of Guna Nega, also showed up in Amador to express their anger by shouting harangues and planting the national flag.

Among them was the psychologist Geraldine Emiliani, who told reporters "it's not fair" to allow buildings to be erected "that prevent us from walking through these lands."

"We are not going to allow the embassy they plan to build in these lands to be built," he added, recalling that it is the same thing that the previous Panamanian governments did that yielded the lands for the US military presence along the interoceanic highway during the past century, between 1904 and 1999.

Yesterday, the president of the Chinese-Panamanian Cultural Center, Fermin Chan, said that the shore of the Panama Canal is not the most appropriate place to build the new Chinese embassy, since it is a symbol of the sovereignty of the Central American country.

The Panamanian Government said Friday, after a hail of criticism, that it will officially inform where the Chinese embassy will be built, after evaluating the options it handles, without ruling out the possibility of being located in Amador.

A two-paragraph statement signed by Varela indicated "the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China has been one of the most important decisions in the history of Panamanian foreign policy."

"It entails the reciprocal establishment of embassies and, therefore, the Panamanian Government will officially communicate the site assigned to the People's Republic of China after having responsibly evaluated the existing options," he added.

This statement is added to what was said by Varela on Wednesday regarding the controversy over the location of the Chinese embassy, a country with which Panama established diplomatic ties in June 2017 to the detriment of Taiwan.

"They have evaluated several options in Clayton, Amador differently, in different points, but in the end we always seek consensus because it is a very long-term issue, which goes beyond the term of our government," said the president at the time.

"Panama is a sovereign, neutral country that opens its doors and its canal to the world, the United States is the main user of the canal, China is the second and it is part of public life to make the right decisions for the benefit of the people", said Varela, who denied "tensions" with Washington in the wake of relations with China.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panama-panamanian-flags-are-raised-where-chinese-embassy-would-rise-7860

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Panamanian government will choose a place for Chinese embassy "responsibly"

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 16:05

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The Panamanian Government said today that it would formally inform where the Chinese embassy will be, after responsibly evaluating the options it handles, in the midst of a controversy raised by the possibility of being located in an area of the interoceanic Canal that was a US military base.

A two-paragraph statement signed by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela indicated "the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China has been one of the most important decisions in the history of Panamanian foreign policy."

"It entails the reciprocal establishment of embassies and, therefore, the Panamanian Government will officially communicate the site assigned to the People's Republic of China after having responsibly evaluated the existing options," the letter added.

This statement adds to what was said by President Varela on Wednesday regarding the controversy over the location of the Chinese embassy, a country with which Panama established diplomatic ties in June 2017 to the detriment of Taiwan.

"It is an internal issue handled by one 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, which goes beyond the term of our government," the president said at the time.

La Calzada de Amador, which was an area controlled by the US when it administered the Panama Canal, which it built and put into operation in 1914 and transferred to the Central American country on December 31, 1999.

The possibility of locating the Chinese diplomatic legation there has generated some controversy in the country, as certain sectors of society consider it "offensive" that a flag other than the Panamanian wave in such a symbolic territory, which was the first military base the US returned to Panama after the signing in 1977 of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

A group of citizens circulated a call for a sowing of Panamanian flags this Saturday at the place where the Chinese embassy would supposedly be located on social networks.

This Friday, the president of the Chinese-Panamanian Cultural Center, Fermín Chan, said that the Panama Canal shore is not the most appropriate place to build the new Chinese embassy, since it is a symbol of the Central American country's sovereignty.

"We are Panamanians of Chinese descent and as Panamanians we share the nationality and sovereignty of our country (...) Personally, I do not think that Amador is the place for any embassy, but it is my personal opinion, not the community," he said. Chan, although nuanced that it is a matter between governments.

The controversy over the location of the Chinese Embassy arises shortly after the Panamanian Government asked the US to respect its sovereign decision to establish relations with China, in response to the call for consultations of the US diplomatic representative in the country once the topic arose.

The government of Donald Trump called its business manager in Panama, Roxanne Cabral, for consultations on August 7 and its ambassadors in the Dominican Republic, Robin Bernstein, and in El Salvador, Jean Manes, for the "recent decisions to stop recognizing Taiwan" in favor of China.

"Panama is a sovereign, neutral country that opens its doors and its canal to the world, the US is the main user of the canal, China is the second and it is part of public life to make the right decisions for the benefit of the people", said Varela, who denied "tensions" with Washington over this issue.

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panamanian-government-will-choose-place-chinese-embassy-responsibly-7856

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Ex-president leads China embassy protest

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MEMBERS of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and other citizen groups planted Panamanian flags on Amador, on Sunday, September 15 to show their opposition to using the causeway as a location for the  Chinese embassy.

The PRD militants who arrived at the site noon were led by ex-president  Martin Torrijos (2004-2009), who voiced his “rejection” of the announcement by  President, Juan Carlos Varela, that it was being studied to assign a plot of land in that area. to the Chinese.

The former US naval base that was the first to revert to Panama in 1999 thanks to the Canal treaties and the land holds a mausoleum in honor of General Omar Torrijos, who succeeded in 1977  in getting the US commitment to transfer the waterway to Panamanians in 1999, after maintaining control for 85 years.

Martin Torrijos told reporters, that “many Panamanians feel insulted” by the mere suggestion that a flag of another country flies in that territory and therefore planted the national flag to express their repudiation.

A  group of people, coming from the community of Guna Nega, also showed up in Amador to express their anger. Among them was the psychologist Geraldine Emiliani, who told reporters that “it’s not fair” to allow buildings to be erected “that prevent us from walking through these lands.”

The president of the Chinese-Panamanian Cultural Center, Fermin Chan, said that the shore of the Panama Canal is not the most appropriate place to build the new Chinese embassy since it is a symbol of the sovereignty of the country.

After a storm  of criticism,  a communique signed by Varela said that “the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China has been one of the most important decisions in the history of Panamanian foreign policy

“It entails the reciprocal establishment of embassies and, therefore, the Government of Panama will officially communicate the site assigned to the People’s Republic of China after having responsibly evaluated the existing options,”

“Panama is a sovereign, neutral country that opens its doors and its channel to the world, the United States is the main user of the channel, China is the second and it is part of public life to make the right decisions for the benefit of the people”, said Varela, who denied “tensions” with Washington in the wake of relations with China.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ex-president-leads-china-embassy-protes

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Panama Canal dissociates from controversy over location of Chinese embassy

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 17:55

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The Panama Canal today dissociated itself from the controversy raised in the Central American country regarding the possible location of the Chinese embassy on the shore of the interoceanic route and said that this issue is the exclusive responsibility of the Government.

"It's a matter of the Foreign Ministry and the president, it's not a matter of the Panama Canal, nor of its board of directors or the Administration," Jorge Luis Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority, told reporters.

Panamanian president, Juan Carlos Varela, confirmed last week that his Government is analyzing several places to locate the headquarters of the Chinese diplomatic delegation, including the Calzada de Amador, a spit of land connecting several parallel islands to the Pacific interoceanic canal which was a US naval base.

The decision has raised some controversy in the country, as certain sectors of society consider it "offensive" that a flag of another country flies in that symbolic territory, which was the first military base that the United States returned to Panama after signing in 1977 the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

The Panama Canal, through which 6 percent of world trade passes, is one of the great works of modern engineering, built and administered by the United States from 1904 until December 31, 1999.

"Our ties with China is the commercial exchange of their ships, which pass through here and carry goods in one direction or another, but beyond that it is not a canal issue (...) I do not have any comments, I stay out," said Quijano.

China, with whom Panama established relations in June of last year and negotiates a free trade agreement (FTA), is the second most important user of the canal, behind the United States, as well as being the first supplier of the Colón Free Zone, the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean.

Both countries agreed to cede public lands for a period of 70 years to locate their respective embassies. The place where the Panamanian diplomatic legation will be located is already chosen and it is only necessary to decide the place for the Chinese headquarters.

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

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panama-canal-dissociates-controversy-over-location-chinese-embassy-7883

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Chinese  embassy in Amador ruled out

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The construction of the Chinese Embassy in Amador is no longer an option said Panama Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado on  Sunday, September 23,  after over a week of public dissent including a demonstration led by former president  Martin Torrijos.

“Amador became part of the considerations at  a  given moment, that is true.  But it is it is no longer an option she    said in a TVN interview

She added that in the memorandum of understanding signed between Panama and China, on the exchange of diplomatic venues for the first time in the history of the Republic came the question of reciprocity. This translated into China granting two places to Panama: one for the embassy, “well located and safe”, and another for the ambassador’s residence. Therefore, Panama is looking for an equivalent place with security.

“Panama has granted many embassies land and real estate without Panama receiving something equivalent in that country. Panama spends a lot of money in embassies and  outside consulates” she said

One of the options they considered was a piece of land in Clayton, which belongs to the Chancellery, but it was ruled out because “there were security considerations”

At the moment, she said, they are shuffling between six and seven places, in Albrook and Clayton. “We hope that soon we will  have a decision.”

The Panamanian Government announced the establishment of diplomatic relations with China In July 2017.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/chinese-embassy-in-amador-ruled-out

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Ships entering Canal  will see China flag first

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President Varela greeted by China's Foreign Minister in Shanghai on Tuesday
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Although President,  Varela, and his government team have insisted that the land they would give to the Chinese embassy was not defined, the cabinet has approved the release of a lot belonging to the Amador Foundation.

On February 7, the government of confirmed to the Chinese embassy in Panama the assignment of a plot in Amador, at the entrance of the Pacific side of the Canal de Panama, just where the ships begin their journey through the interoceanic route reports La Estrella.

The action of Varela’s cabinet, which drew a roadmap to strengthen political, commercial, and non-reimbursable cooperation projects, as well as the feasibility of a Panama-David train, was contained in the government-sponsored strategy to launch diplomatic relations with China.

One of the priorities for cementing bilateral ties was to allocate land for the installation of the Asian diplomatic headquarters on the Isthmus.

Its location was secret until the country found when then US ambassador in Panama John Feeley told the  New Yorker that vessels entering the canal would sight the Chinese flag before the Panamanian.

In September, Varela told media that until then the cabinet ‘had not taken any firm decision’ on where the embassy would be located and that some options were still being considered.

“There is no kind of promise on the part of the Government of Panama (to China),” said Varela, adding that he would take the decision in consensus on a long-term issue.

However, by that date, the procedures in the Public Registry to release the promised plot, which was part of a trust, had already been completed says La Estrella ,

Panama’s mayor, José Isabel Blandón, now bidding to succeed Varela as president also denied that it had been a decided issue since the land would require a modification of land use. The Administrative Unit of Reverted Property designated the use of these plots for tourism and residences, but not for the construction of this type of infrastructure.

On March 23, 2018, the Surveillance Committee of the Amador Foundation approved an amendment to the trust agreement with the National Bank of Panama to free parcel number 11 and replace this property with another two land lots (parcels 13 and 14) .

A Cabinet resolution supported the action.

The bilateral relationship between Panama and China, which began in June 2017, has borne fruit in 23 agreements (excepting the approval of the National Assembly), more than 20 technical visits, five high-level missions, including two  by President Varela, who is currently on a tour from November 5 to 9 in the city of Shanghai, along with a large delegation of businessmen, to inaugurate the Panama Pavilion at the China International Import Export Fair.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/ships-entering-canal-will-see-china-flag-first

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Agreement on site of Chinese Embassy.

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Posted 24/06/2019

Panama and the People's Republic of China (PRC) have agreed that  the embassy of the Asian giant will be in Clayton. Already home to several embassies including the US and and the Vatican ,and are in the final phase of negotiations.

This was confirmed by Nicole Wong, director of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Monday, June 24, that the two countries are in the final stages of negotiations.

Wong said  that there is not yet a signed document but  "there is already a consensus decision between both governments" and  they are currently "in the final phase of negotiating the documents that formalize the allocation of the land."

China will lease to Panama  two buildings in section C of the diplomatic complex Liangmaqiao, in the Chaoyang district, Beijing, and promises to offer, when there is an opportunity for availability of real estate in the diplomatic zone 1 , 2 or 3 of Beijing, with independent buildings and other appropriate conditions, in order to relocate the embassy.

In October 2018, a year after the formal start of diplomatic relations between Panama and the PRC, the Panamanian government evaluated land in at least four areas: El Dorado, Amador, Albrook and Clayton,

At that time, the Foreign Ministry explained that to choose the area it was taking into consideration that the space has a value equivalent to the two properties granted by China to Panama. for its headquarters and the ambassador’s residence. 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/agreement-on-site-of-chinese-embassy

 

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