SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - China will help build several major infrastructure projects in El Salvador including a stadium and water treatment plant, the two countries said on Tuesday, signaling China’s growing role in the region after El Salvador cut ties with Taiwan.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, who met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in China this week, said the investment represented a “gigantic, non-refundable cooperation” for the small Central American nation.
He did not disclose the planned investment amount.
Under the agreement, China will help build a large sports stadium, multi-story library and water treatment plant.
China, the world’s second biggest economy, will also assist at coastal tourist sites, including building streets, parks and a water system along the beaches known as Surf City, and restaurants and shops on the Puerto de la Libertad pier.
The projects offer the strongest signal yet of El Salvador’s embrace of close relations with China.
El Salvador “adheres to the principle of one China, categorically rejects any act that goes against this principle and any form of ‘independence of Taiwan,’” El Salvador and China said in a joint statement.
El Salvador broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in August last year, following the Dominican Republic and Panama in switching sides to China.
(This story corrects last paragraph to show El Salvador broke ties with Taiwan in August last year)
Reporting by Nelson Renteria, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Steve Orlofsky