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Foreign relations of Ecuador

Ecuador always has placed great emphasis on multilateral approaches to international problems. Ecuador is a member of the United Nations (and most of its specialized agencies) and the Organization of American States and also is a member of many regional groups, including the Rio Group, the Latin American Economic System, the Latin American Energy Organization, the Latin American Integration Association, and the Andean Pact. According to the United States Department of State, Ecuador's principal foreign-policy objectives have included defense of the national territory from external aggression and internal subversion; support for the objectives of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS); defense of its claim to 200 miles (370 km) of territorial and fisheries jurisdictions off its coast; and revision of the 1942 Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries (Rio Protocol), which ended, at least officially, open warfare between Peru and Ecuador over a territorial dispute. Although Ecuador's foreign relations traditionally have centered on the United States, Ecuador's membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the 1970s and 1980s allowed some Ecuadorian leaders to exercise somewhat greater foreign policy autonomy. Ecuador's international foreign policy goals under the Borja government in the late 1980s were more diversified than those of the Febres Cordero administration, which closely identified with the United States. For example, Ecuador was more active in its relations with the Third World, multilateral organizations, Western Europe, and socialist countries. Ecuador's border dispute with Peru, festering since the independence era, has been the nation's principal foreign policy issue. For more than 50 years, Ecuador maintained that the 1942 Rio Protocol of Peace, Friendship and Boundaries left several issues unresolved. For example, it asserted that geographic features in the area of the Cenepa River valley did not match the topographical descriptions in the Protocol, thus making demarcation of the boundary there "inexecutable." Ecuador has offered humanitarianian aid to many countries and a supporter of the United Nations and is now contributing troops in the UN mission in Haiti. Ecuador has also served in the elective seats of the UN Security Council

This long-running border dispute occasionally erupted into armed hostility along the undemarcated sections. The most serious conflict since the 1941 war occurred in January-February 1995, when thousands of soldiers from both sides fought an intense but localized war in the disputed territory in the upper Cenepa valley. A peace agreement brokered by the four Guarantors of the Rio Protocol (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States) in February 1995 led to the cessation of hostilities and the establishment of the Military Observers Mission to Ecuador-Peru (MOMEP) to monitor the zone. In 1996, Ecuador and Peru began a series of meetings intended to set the stage for substantive negotiations to resolve the dispute. Ecuador has maintained a peaceful research station for scientific study in the British claimed territory and is a member nation of the Antarctica Treaty Those talks were successful. In January 1998, Ecuador and Peru initialed a historic agreement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which provided a framework to resolve the major outstanding issues between the two countries through four commissions. The commissions were to prepare a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation and a Comprehensive Agreement on Border Integration, to fix on the ground the common land boundary, and to establish a Binational Commission on Mutual Confidence Measures and Security. The commissions began work in February, with the intention of reaching a definitive agreement by May 30, 1998. The commissions on border integration and mutual confidence measures successfully concluded their work, and the commission working on a treaty of commerce and navigation produced a draft treaty text, but the commission on border demarcation failed to produce agreement by May 30. A flare-up in military tensions in the disputed region in August 1998 led to the creation of a temporary second MOMEP-patrolled demilitarized zone just south of the first demilitarized zone.

Presidents Mahuad and Fujimori established direct communication by meetings and phone calls in an effort to overcome the two countries' remaining differences. In October 1998, after asking for and receiving a boundary determination from the guarantors, the two presidents reached agreement. On October 26, 1998, at a ceremony in Brasilia, Presidents Fujimori and Mahuad and their foreign ministers signed a comprehensive settlement.

Sino-Ecuadorian relations

I. Bilateral Political Relations

On January 2, 1980, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Ecuador formally established diplomatic relations. In July of the same year, China set up its embassy in Ecuador. In July 1981, Ecuador set up its embassy in China.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Sino-Ecuadorian relations have been advancing smoothly. The two sides maintain high level political contacts and exchanges in fields of trade and economy, science and technology, culture and education grow steadily. In international affairs, the two countries understand and support each other.

Mutual visits

On May 14-19, 1984, Ecuadorian President Oswaldo Hurtado paid an official goodwill visit to China, which was the first Ecuadorian presidential visit to China since the establishment of diplomatic relations. President Li Xiannian held talks with his counterpart. Chinese Premier and Chairman Deng Xiaoping met with him respectively. The two sides signed an inter-governmental agreement on economic, scientific and technological cooperation, one on the establishment of Sino-Ecuadorian economic, scientific, technological and trade joint commission and one on the establishment of Consulates General in Shanghai and Guayaquil.

On March 18-23, 1994, Ecuadorian President Sixto Durán paid a state visit to China. President Jiang Zemin held talks with his counterpart. Premier Li Peng met with him. The two countries signed an inter-governmental agreement on economic and technological cooperation, an agreement on encouragement and mutual protection of investment and the agreement on petroleum cooperation between China Petroleum and Natural Gas Corporation and Ecuador Petroleum Corporation.

From 29 August to 4 September 1999, at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin, Ecuadorian President Jamil Mahuad paid a state visit to China. President Jiang Zemin held talks with his counterpart. Chairman Li Peng of NPC Standing Committee and Premier Zhu Rongji met with him respectively. The Ecuadorian side signed the Agreement on the Establishment of International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, which marked Ecuador's formal entry into the organization.

On March 19-24, 2002, at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin, President of Ecuador Gustavo Noboa paid a state visit to China President Jiang held talks with him. Chairman Li Peng and Premier Zhu Rongji met with him respectively. During the visit, the two sides signed an agreement on economic and technological cooperation, the agreement on cooperation between China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Committee and Ecuador-China Chamber of Commerce and the agreement on cooperation between China Foreign Affairs Institute and Ecuador Foreign Affairs Institute.

From March 30 to April 2, 1983, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Luis Valencia visited China. Chinese Premier met with him and Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian held talks with him.

On April 12-19, 1984, Vice-Chairman Liao Hansheng of NPC Standing Committee visited Ecuador at the head of an NPC delegation. Ecuadorian President Oswaldo Hurtado, Vice-President Roldós, President of the National Congress Espasa and Foreign Minister Luis Valencia met with him respectively.

From June 30 to July 7, 1984, Ecuadorian National Congress President Gari Espada Fabian visited China. President Li Xiannian, Chairman Peng Zhen of NPC Standing Committee, Vice-Premier Yao Yilin and Vice- Chairman Liao Hansheng of NPC Standing Committee met with him respectively.

On May 16-24, 1985, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Edgar Terán paid an official visit to China. Chinese Premier met with him. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian held talks with him and the two sides signed the basic agreement on economic, scientific and technological cooperation and the agreement on loan cooperation. Vice- Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Jia Shi and Ecuadorian Vice-Foreign Minister for Economy Correa jointly presided over the first meeting of Sino-Ecuadorian Economic, Technical and Trade Joint Commission, meanwhile signing the bilateral protocol on economic and technological cooperation.

On June 11-13, 1987, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian visited Ecuador. Ecuadorian President Leon Febres Cordero and Acting Vice-President and National Congress President Andres Vallejo Arcos met with him respectively. The two foreign ministers exchanged notes on mutual exemption of visas for diplomatic and service passports.

On June 2-6, 1989, Foreign Minister Qian Qichen visited Ecuador. Ecuadorian President Rodrigo Borja Cevallos, Vice-President Luis Parodi Valverde and Acting National Congress President Ovando met with him respectively. The two sides reached an oral understanding on the establishment of an irregular political consultation mechanism between two foreign ministries and strengthening of consultation in the UN.

On May 2-8, 1990, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Diego Cordovez Zegers paid an official visit to China. President Yang Shangkun and Premier Li Peng met with him respectively.

On July 20-24, 1991, Vice-Chairman Wang Hanbin of NPC Standing Committee visited Ecuador. President Rodrigo Boria Cevallos and Acting National Congress President Torres met with him respectively.

On May 22-30, 1992, Ecuadorian Vice President Luis Parodi Valverde paid a goodwill visit to China. General Secretary Jiang Zemin of the CPC Central Committee and President Yang Shangkun met with him respectively. Vice-Premier Wu Xueqian held talks with him.

Om September 4-12, 1993, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Deigo Paredes Pena paid an official visit to China. Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice- Chairman Wang Hanbin of NPC Standing Committee met with him. Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen held talks with him. The two sides signed an executive plan of cultural exchanges from 1993 to 1995.

On April 8-17, 1995, Ecuadorian National Congress President Heinz Moeller Freile visited China. Chairman Qiao Shi of NPC Standing Committee and Vice-President Rong Yiren met with him respectively.

On March 24-27, 1996, State Councilor and Secretary General of the State Council Luo Gan visited Ecuador. President Sixto Duran Ballen met with him.

On May 24-29, 1996, Ecuadorian National Congress President Fabian Alarcon visited China. Premier Li Peng and Chairman Qiaoshi of NPC Standing Committee met with him respectively.

On August 16-21, 1996, Vice-Chairman Chen Muhua of NPC Standing Committee visited Ecuador. President Abdala Bucaram Ortiz, Vice President Rosalia Arteaga Serrano and National Congress President Fabian Alarcon met with her respectively.

On October 22-26, 1997, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Tose Anala Lasso paid an official visit to China. Premier Li Peng met with him. Vice- Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen held talks with him. The two foreign ministries signed a protocol on the establishment of political consultation mechanism.

On June 17-28, 2000, Ecuadorian President of the National Congress Juan Jose Pons led an Ecuadorian congressional delegation to China. Vice-Chairman Cheng Siwei of NPC Standing Committee met with and held a banquet in honour of the delegation on behalf of Chairman Li Peng. Vice-Premier Qian Qichen also met with the delegation. Besides Beijing, Pons' party visited Chengdu, Lhasa, Xiamen and Shanghai.

On September 16-24, 2000, Ecuadorian Partido Izquierda Democratic Chairman and former President Borja visited China. Member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee Jia Qinglin and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Canrong met with him respectively.

On October 12-22 2000, Deputy Mayor of Guayaquil Luis Chiriboga led an Ecuadorian trade delegation to China. Vice-Chairman Hu Qili of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee met with him.

On November 13-18, 2000, at the invitation of Ecuadorian Partido Izquierda Democratic, Member of CPC Central Committee, Secretary of Hubei provincial committee of CPC Yang Zhengwu led a CPC delegation to Ecuador. Vice-President Pinto, Chairman of Partido Izquierda Democratic Borja, and Mayor of Quito Moncayo met with him respectively.

On November 19-21, 2000, at the invitation of Ecuadorian National Congress, Member of NPC Standing Committee, Vice-Chairman of Environment and Resources Protection Committee Li Meng led an NPC delegation to Ecuador. President of Ecuadorian National Congress Quevedo met with him. The delegation held talks with members of Health, Environment and Ecological Resources Protection Committee, International and Peripheral Affairs Committee of Ecuadorian National Congress and Ecuador-China inter-Parliamentary Friendship Committee.

On January 15-21, 2001, Ecuadorian Vice-Foreign Minister Paulina Garcia visited China. Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Deputy Procurator-General of Supreme People's Procuratorate Zhao Hong met with her respectively. Vice-Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks with her.

On March 20-23, 2001, Deputy Director of Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense Zhang Weimin visited Ecuador. Ecuadorian Minister of National Defense Hugo Unda Aguirre and Joint Commander of three armed forces Miguel Saona met with him respectively.

On July 6-9, 2001, Chairman of Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPPCC Wang Liping led a delegation to Ecuador.

On September 11-20, 2001, Ecuadorian Vice-Foreign Minister in charge of political affairs Luis Gallegos Luis Jalegos led a governmental cultural delegation to China. Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng, Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong, Assistant Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation He Xiaowei met with him respectively. Assistant Minister of Culture Jia Mingru held talks with him.

On April 4-7, 2002, at the invitation of Ecuadorian National Congress, Vie-Chairman Tian Jiyun of NPC Standing Committee led an NPC delegation for an official and friendly visit to Ecuador. During the visit, Ecuadorian Vice-President Pinto met with the delegation and Congress President Cordero held talks with Vice-Chairman Tian.

On April 7-15, 2002, Ecuadorian Minister for Urban Development and Housing Nelson Murgueitio visited China. Chinese Minister of Water Conservancy Wang Shucheng met with him.

On December 8-15, 2002, at the invitation of Chairman Li Peng of NPC Standing Committee, Ecuadorian National Congress President Cordero visited China. Chairman Li Peng and Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with him respectively.

On November 28-29, 2002, Assistant Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Chen Jian heading a government economic and trade delegation visited Ecuador. Ecuadorian Vice-President Pinto met with the delegation. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Moeller and Minister for Public Works Machiavello held talks with them.

From December 26, 2002 to January 1, 2002, at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Ministry, brother of Ecuadorian President-elect Gilmar Gutierrez visited China. Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, Minister of Water Conservancy Wang Shucheng and Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Ma Hongxiu met with him respectively. Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong held talks with him.

Bilateral economic and trade relations, economic and technological cooperation

As early as in 1975 the two governments signed a trade agreement. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, bilateral trade and economic relations have made new headway. China mainly imports banana, prawns and fish meat from Ecuador and mainly exports to Ecuador light industrial products, industrial and agricultural tools and mechanical equipment. Through joint efforts, bilateral trade has soared from several million US dollars in the 1980s to over ten million US dollars in the 1990s. In 2002, bilateral trade volume reached $208 million, of which $194 million were Chinese exports and $13.57 million were Chinese imports.

Bilateral exchanges and cooperation in cultural, educational and military fields

(1) Cultural and Educational Cooperation

Sino-Ecuadorian cultural exchanges have a long history. In 1982 the two countries signed an inter-governmental cultural cooperation agreement. China has sent troupes of acrobatics, song and dance, Beijing opera, and Wushu to Ecuador and held exhibitions of arts and crafts, photographs and books as well as film festivals in Ecuador. At the request of Ecuador, China once sent coaches of table tennis, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and diving to teach in Ecuador. In accordance with bilateral cultural agreement, each year China offers scholarships to 3 Ecuadorian students and Ecuador offers scholarship to 1 Chinese student. So far, Ecuador has received 3 Chinese students while over 30 Ecuadorian students have come to study in China.

Ecuador has sent successively educational, medical and cultural delegations to visit China. Ecuadorian painters once held an exhibition in China.

(2) Military Exchanges

In July 1993 the two countries signed an agreement on mutual establishment of military attaché's office. In July 1994 the first Chinese military attaché arrived in Ecuador. Heading delegations to visit Ecuador were Chinese PLA Deputy Chiefs of General Staff Han Huaizhi (Aug. 1985), Li Jing (July 1995), Kui Fulin (June 1998) and Zhang Li (Dec. 2002), Deputy Chief of General Political Department Zhou Ziyu (Oct. 2000), Deputy Political Commissar of the Chinese People's Armed Police Forces Lt. General Zhang Juzhong (April 2002), and Chairman Liu Jibin of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (June 2002). Visiting China successively on the Ecuadoran part were Ministers of Defence Galiar (April 1993) and Undd (April 2002), Commanders of the Joint Headquarters Yepez (June 1992), Alarcon (June 1994) and Saona (August 200l), Air Force Commander Birkett (Nov. 1991), Army Commanders Moncayo (June 1996) and Sandoval (June 1999). In Aug. 2002, Chinese navy fleet visited Guayaquil Ecuador.

Important bilateral agreements and documents

(1) Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Ecuador, signed in New York on December 24, 1979, by China's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Chen Chu and by Ecuador's Permanent Representative to the UN Albornoz.

(2) Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Vice-Minister of Culture Lu Zhixian and Ecuadorian Acting Foreign Minister Valdes on 16 November 1982.

(3) Basic Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Valencia in Beijing on 17 May 1984.

(4) Exchange of Notes on Mutual Visas Exemption for Diplomatic and Service Passports between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Rafael Garcia Velasco in Quito on 12 June 1987.

(5) Agreement on Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investment between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Vice-Minister Shi Guangsheng of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, and Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Diego Paredes Pena in Beijing on 21 March 1994.

(6) Protocol on the Establishment of Political Consultation Mechanism between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Ayala Lasso in Beijing on 23 October 1997.

(7) Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Minister of Science and Technology Zhu Lilan and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Benjamin Ortiz Brennan in Beijing on 30 August 1999.

(8) Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Minister of Agriculture Chen Yangbao and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Benjamin Ortiz Brennan in Beijing on 30 August 1999.

(9) Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Ecuador on Visas Exemption for Ordinary Passports Concerning Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Ecuador, signed by the representative of Hong Kong SAR government and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Benjamin Ortiz Brennan on 3 September 1999.

(10) Cooperation Agreement among China Council for Promotion of International Trade, Ecuador-China Chamber of Commerce and the National Committee of Ecuadorian Pacific Economic Cooperation, signed by CCPIT President Yu Xiaosong, Ecuador-China Chamber President Segundo Wang and Chairman of the National Committee of Ecuadorian Pacific Economic Cooperation Davalos in Beijing on 30 August 1999.

(11) Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation in Pacific Region between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Ecuadorian Vice-Foreign Minister in Beijing on 18 May 2000.

(12) Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Chinese Ambassador to Ecuador Liu Junxiu and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Moeller on 15 May 2001.

(13) Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, signed by Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Lü Fuyuan and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Moeller signed on 20 March 2002.

(14) Agreement on Cooperation between China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Committee and Ecuador-China Chamber of Commerce, signed by Vice-Chairman of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Committee Liu Wenjie and Executive Chairman of Ecuador-China Chamber of Commerce Delcan on 20 March 2002.

Foreign relation to Colombia/Venezuela

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa withdrew his government's ambassador in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered troops to the country's border following a Colombian raid against leftist rebels inside Ecuador March 2 2008. The Colombian director of national police claimed three captured computers from the deceased FARC rebel leader Raúl Reyes document "tremendously revealing" and "very grave" links between Ecuador and Colombian rebels.March 2 2008. However, Colombia's actions were condemned across the board by all South American nations, with only the US supporting Colombia. For example, Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, condemned the Colombian incursion into Ecuador. Furthermore, he suggested that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently gave the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia $300 million. Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said March 3 2008 that a deal to release political prisoners -- including former Colombian Sen. Ingrid Betancourt -- was nearly complete before the March 1 2008 Colombian raid into his country. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on March 5 2008 called the announced movement of Colombian forces in Ecuador a "war crime," and joined Ecuador's president Rafael Correa in demanding international condemnation of the cross-border attack. The presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador March 7 2008 signed a declaration to end a crisis sparked when Colombian troops killed a rebel leader and 21 others inside Ecuadoran territory (2008 Andean diplomatic crisis).

Disputes—international

On October 26, 1998, Peru and Ecuador concluded treaties on commerce and navigation and on boundary integration, to complete a package of agreements settling the long-standing boundary dispute between them; demarcation of the agreed-upon boundary was scheduled to begin in mid-January 1999

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