Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 7 News List

China to give US$150m in aid to El Salvador

Reuters, SAN SALVADOR

China plans to give El Salvador US$150 million to spur development of social and technological projects, the Salvadorean president said on Wednesday, the latest sign of improving ties between the countries that has alarmed the US.

Salvadorean President Salvador Sanchez Ceren was returning from his first trip to China since the countries established diplomatic ties in August.

Speaking on local television, Sanchez Ceren said he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) during the visit and agreed to 13 joint projects, without providing details.

The donation marks China’s latest gambit to make inroads in Central America, a campaign that has drawn the ire of the US.

Earlier this year, El Salvador cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, following the Dominican Republic and Panama. The US promptly recalled its ambassadors in the region.

“This historic meeting between the governments of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of El Salvador has produced excellent results,” Sanchez Ceren said. “This confirms that the establishment of diplomatic relations with China is my government’s most important decision in foreign policy.”

Representatives for the Chinese government were not immediately available for comment.

The date when the funds are to be received has not been set, a spokesman for the Salvadorean government said.

China would also donate three thousand tonnes of rice to support Salvadoreans, who are reeling from a drought in July and floods last month, Sanchez Ceren said.

The White House warned in August that China was luring countries with incentives that “facilitate economic dependence and domination, not partnership.”

Taiwan has formal relations with a dwindling number of countries, almost all of them small and less developed nations in Central America and the Pacific.

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