March 26, 2019 / 1:56 AM / a month ago

Dominican Republic president meets with delegation from China, deepening ties

FILE PHOTO: Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina speaks at the opening ceremony for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/Pool

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - Dominican President Danilo Medina met Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Monday, the president’s office said, deepening ties between the countries as the United States warns governments in the region against getting too close with China.

The leaders met to follow up agreements that the countries struck in November and also reached two new accords on economic cooperation, the Dominican government said.

The meeting is among the first official visits between the countries since the Dominican Republic cut ties with Taiwan and established relations with Beijing last May. Panama and El Salvador have also made the switch in recent years.

“The representatives of the Chinese government emphasized the interest they have in supporting the (Dominican Republic) in increasing its exports to China and promoting a greater flow of tourists from that nation to ours,” the Dominican government said in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump last Friday in Florida pledged investment in a meeting with five Caribbean leaders, including Medina.

The White House had said earlier in the week that Trump wanted to work with leaders to “counter China’s predatory economic practices.” The United States and China are embroiled in trade disputes, with talks to resolve them apparently in the final stages.

Trump and the leaders did not discuss Chinese investment issues, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told reporters after the meeting.

Reporting by Jorge Pineda; writing by Julia Love; editing by Grant McCool

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