Top Chinese official visits to mark anniversary of ties

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo Costa Rican officials greet Zhang Gaoli at airpor

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, a top official from there is visiting here.

He is Zhang Gaoli, a vice minister and member of the politboro of the Community Party central committee. He arrived Thursday night and has an appointment with President Laura Chinchilla this morning in Casa Presidencial.

Although there has been an official announcement of possible donations by the country to Costa Rica, officials here have a wish list. China donated and built the national stadium in Parque la Sabana.

The Chinese diplomat is accompanied by 20 other persons.

China already has entered into a deal with the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo to collaborate on constructing a new refinery. The money will come from the Chinese Development Bank.

The Chinese official also will visit the legislature and be honored with a luncheon hosted by Bernal Jiménez Monge, president of the Partido Liberación Nacional.

At 6 p.m. today there is a ceremony at the foreign ministry to commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations. Later the Chinese visitor will call on former president Óscar Arias Sánchez at his Rohrmoser home. It was Arias who ditched relations with Taiwan to seek better opportunities with mainland China.

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