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Huadu district in spotlight after Sino-Panama diplomatic ties

(eguangzhou.gov.cn)Updated : 2017-06-15

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Panamanian Vice-President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo exchange the joint communique on establishing diplomatic relations on June 13 in Beijing. [Photo by Zhang Ling/Xinhua]

Guangzhou's Huadu district has been put into the spotlight as Panama decided to establish formal diplomatic relations with China on June 13.

"People of Huadu district were among the first to help dig the Panama Canal," said Luo Jitian, former chairman of the Association of Fellow Huadu Provincials in Panama. "The following years have also witnessed a large number of Chinese people arriving in the country."

There are even some villages in Huadu district nicknamed "Panama villages", such as Qixin and Rulin villages, because over a half of the villagers now work or live in the South American country, according to the Huadu district government.

The official statistics show that there are a total of 300,000 overseas Chinese and Chinese people in Panama, 94 percent of them from Guangdong. And 70 percent of those Guangdong people hail from Guangzhou’s Huadu district, at around 200,000.

"Upon the announcement of China and Panama establishing diplomatic relations on June 13, we overseas Chinese here held grand festivities," Luo said. "We have expected the day to come for many years."

The Guangzhou government and non-governmental organizations have sustained a close connection with the overseas Chinese in Panama. From Jan 24 to Feb 1, the overseas Chinese affairs office of Guangzhou organized a delegation to attend the 100th anniversary of the Association of Fellow Huadu Provincials in Panama.

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Overseas Chinese in Panama, who come from Guangzhou's Huadu district, hold a party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Association of Fellow Huadu Provincials on Jan 20. [Photo/huadu.gov.cn]

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