BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday held talks with visiting President of the Republic of Honduras Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento in Beijing.
Noting President Xiomara Castro is the first Honduran president to pay a state visit to China following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in March, Xi extended a warm welcome to Castro and hailed her visit as one of special significance as it opens a new chapter in the annals of the China-Honduras relationship.
Xi congratulated President Xiomara Castro, the first female president of Honduras, on rallying her people on an independent path toward new achievements in national development, and commended her unwavering political will as evidenced by the historic decision she made to fulfill her campaign promise of establishing diplomatic relations with China.
Xi also spoke highly of the active role that Castro's husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, played in this regard, adding their contribution to the China-Honduras relationship will go down in history.
Underscoring the immediate and long-term significance of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Xi said the bilateral relationship has got off to a good and speedy start and enjoys great dynamism and promise.
Noting last week the Chinese embassy in Honduras was officially inaugurated, Xi said by sending senior cabinet members to the inauguration ceremony, President Xiomara Castro has demonstrated the high importance she attaches to China-Honduras relations.
Xi also mentioned not long ago, delegations of Honduran journalists and business leaders visited China, noting many of them said that the trip has transformed their perception of China and that they want to stay good friends with the Chinese people. "The Chinese side is deeply touched by these remarks."
China will remain committed to developing friendly relations with Honduras, firmly support economic and social development in Honduras, and forge a good friendship and partnership with Honduras featuring mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and common development, said the Chinese president.
Xi expressed his readiness to work with the Honduran president from a strategic and long-term perspective to steer the bilateral relationship toward greater development and to turn the vision of cooperation into tangible results to the greater benefit of the two peoples.