Raise cooperation level, serve overall diplomatic situation ——Zhi Shuping pays a successful visit to Panama, Jamaica and the U.S.
2017-10-11

  To strengthen the cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine with Panama, Jamaica and the United States, to carry out the consensuses reached between the leaders, and to serve the overall diplomatic situation, at the invitation of Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, AQSIQ Minister Zhi Shuping paid a successful visit to the three countries from September 19 to 29.

  Panama is China’s important trade partner in Latin America. After the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 13, 2017, it has been one of the priorities in the bilateral relations to strengthen cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine and promote the fast and balanced development of economic and trade relations between the two countries. During the visit, Minister Zhi conducted discussions with Panamanian Minister of Development of Agriculture, Minister of Health, Panamanian Ambassador to China, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Zhi said that the friendship between the Chinese and the Panamanian peoples goes back to ancient times. The establishment of diplomatic relations is to bring further friendly communications and great development and booming of mutually beneficial economic trade relations. AQSIQ would like to establish with Panamanian side a high-level consultation mechanism in the area of inspection and quarantine, and carry out practical cooperation in the inspection and quarantine of aquatic products, agricultural products and food, National Quality Infrastructure and capacity building in inspection and quarantine, and make contributions for the healthy development of bilateral relations. Panamanian side spoke highly of Minister Zhi’s immediate visit after the establishment of diplomatic relations and stated that Panama attaches great importance to the cooperation with China in the area of inspection and quarantine, and agreed to take immediate action to establish the high-level mechanism and launch the all-round cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine. The two sides made a comprehensive plan on focal points and direction on future cooperation and signed a cooperation action plan on aquatic products inspection and quarantine. Chargé d'affaires from the Chinese embassy in Panama Mr. Wang Weihua took part in the activities. Panamanian major media made follow-up reports.

  Jamaica is one of China’s biggest English-speaking trade partners in Caribbean. In 2013, leaders of the two countries set up the direction of bilateral relations through two meetings. During the visit, Minister Zhi met with Minister and Permanent Secretary from Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Secretary General and Permanent Secretary from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Zhi pointed out that it is the 55th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 45th anniversary since China and Jamaica established diplomatic relations. China cherishes the traditional friendship, attaches great importance to Jamaica’s request to expand trade with China, and hopes that both sides could raise all-round cooperation level by starting three areas of work, i.e., establishing the high-level cooperation mechanism, carrying out practical cooperation in product quarantine access and strengthen personnel and technical communications. The Jamaican side responded positively on Zhi’s proposal and stated that China is Jamaica’s important cooperation partner. For years China has provided great support in Jamaica’s infrastructure and other hardware construction. The Jamaican government attaches great importance to the cooperation with AQSIQ and hopes that, with AQSIQ’s help, it could raise product quality and safety level and technical capacity and strengthen its soft power in entering Chinese and international markets. The two sides signed cooperation agreements on SPS, animal and plant quarantine cooperation and live lobster quarantine. After the meeting. Minister Zhi and Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries jointly attended the press conference. Jamaican major media made intensive reports and spoke highly of bilateral cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine and friendly relations. Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Mr. Niu Qingbao attended the activities.

  On September 25, Minister Zhi conducted discussions with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and three acting Under Secretaries attended the meeting. Zhi stated that President Xi Jinping and President Trump made a strategic plan for China-US relations, and my visit is to implement the consensuses reached between the leaders, take up the bilateral cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine, promote the implementation of 100-day plan of economic cooperation and inspection and quarantine issues in the all-around economic dialogue, and prepare for the outcomes of the third meeting between the leaders of the two countries. Perdue spoke highly of the bilateral cooperation achievements in the area of inspection and quarantine and good cooperative relations, and expressed concerns on lifting the AI related ban on the US and the export of rice and cattle by-products to China. Minister Zhi made a positive response and raised China’s concerns on cooked poultry and catfish export to the U.S, and the automatic detainment of aquatic products in the U.S.. Zhi emphasized that U.S. and China are the largest and second largest economy in the world, the common interest outweighs the difference, and cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine contributes to the fast development of bilateral relations while guaranteeing the consumers’ safety and health of the two countries. AQSIQ would like to join hands with the U.S. to improve the high-level cooperation and consultation mechanism, scientifically and pragmatically solve the concerned SPS issues, and make contributions to the healthy development of bilateral relations. Perdue expressed his full agreement with Zhi, and said that USDA and he himself would make efforts for the development of China-US relations. The two sides made a preliminary plan for the outcome of the leaders’ meeting this year, and agreed to improve the high-level cooperation and consultation mechanism as soon as possible. Officials from U.S. FDA and Chinese embassy in the U.S. attended the meeting.

  During the visit, Zhi made special visits to a cobia processing plant in Panama, Chinese Culture Center in Jamaica, and UL, Dolby and Tesla in the U.S and conducted a survey trip on product quality guarantee system, quality control and improvement and the use of elements in NQI.

  Zhi also listened to the work report from CCIC North America. By referring to the policy adjustment on importing solid waste, Zhi asked CCIC companies overseas to learn the guideline on innovation and entrepreneurship, strengthen the awareness of reform and innovation, get adapted to local environment, grow bigger and stronger and build a good image of “going-out” for Chinese enterprises.