(Xinhua) Since China and El Salvador established diplomatic relations a year ago, bilateral ties have achieved great progress and bilateral cooperation has shown broad prospects, said China’s Ambassador to El Salvador Ou Jianhong.

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Ever since the two countries established diplomatic ties on Aug. 21, 2018, China has been actively developing the relationship based on mutual respect, shared benefit, equal footing and non-intervention in each other’s internal affairs, Ou told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“China is El Salvador’s sincere friend,” Ou said.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, who took office in June, also called such bilateral ties broad and well-established, she added.

Chinese official data showed that trade volume between the two countries reached around US1.01 billion dollars in 2018. China has now become the second largest exporter to El Salvador, and Salvadoran exports to China have also seen robust growth, with coffee topping the list.

Besides, last week saw the first shipments of Salvadoran coffee headed for China through direct export.

China has attached great importance to agricultural cooperation with El Salvador in developing bilateral ties, said Ou.

Ou said she hopes Salvadoran businessmen could make full use of the second China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November, to better present their products and services to Chinese buyers.

According to Ou, the establishment of diplomatic ties has also boosted people-to-people exchanges, as business and government delegations from both sides have exchanged visits and Salvadoran students have already enrolled in Chinese universities.

“China-El Salvador ties have broad prospects and great potential,” said Ou.

The embassador spoke highly of El Salvador’s effort in promoting its socioeconomic development, and said that as China and El Salvador share common interests as two developing countries, China could help the Latin American country achieve further development with its own experience.

Both countries are willing to deepen practical cooperation in such areas as investment, tourism and cultural exchange, so as to further benefit their peoples, she said.

“Making the most of its advantages in terms of capital and technology, China invites El Salvador to join the Asian country’s rapid development so the Salvadoran people can have more benefits,” she said.

El Salvador is one of the 19 countries in Latin America that have signed cooperation agreements with China to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative, and promote the optimization, upgrading, innovation and development of China-Latin America cooperation.

Ou added that she hopes China-El Salvador ties will also help bolster and develop ties with the Central American region as a whole.