President off to China to consolidate ties

President Luis Guillermo Solís is off to China next week with a handful of ministers and governmental executives.

Casa Presidencial said Solís seeks to consolidate relations with China for the long term, some 10 years.

Among other projects, the president seeks to establish special economic zones, free trade zones, in Cartago, Limón, Guanacaste and Puntarenas.

The president’s trip comes at a time when the Chinese economy seems to be slowing and at a time when President Xi Jinìng is asserting more control.

The Reuters news agency reported Monday that the Chinese president has called for greater ideological guidance in China’s universities and urged the study of marxism. The news service attributed the information to state media and said the country continues to tighten control on Western ideology.

Xi’s comments are the latest sign of his politically conservative agenda and come amid a ratcheting up of controls over the media, dissidents and the internet, it said.

Solís is scheduled to meet with Xi.

During his visit, Solís is expected to accept an honorary doctorate at Renmin University of China, which is beginning a Latin America studies program.

With Solís will be Manuel González, the foreign minister;  Alexander Mora, minister of Comercio Exterior;  Celso Gamboa, minister of  Seguridad Pública;  Olga Marta Sánchez, minister of  Planificación, and Carlos Segnini, minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes.  Also going are a group of business operators seeking markets and capital.

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