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Xi's trip further brightens prospects of China-LatAm co-op (2)

2014-07-24 15:42 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e


"Bosom friends make distance disappear." Xi quoted this line from an ancient Chinese poem to describe the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, what China has brought to the region is far more than beautiful words.

In a keynote speech to the China-Latin America summit, Xi proposed to design the China-Latin America relations from the aspects of strategic cooperation, economic diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges.

Xi and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States jointly announced the decision to establish a cooperation forum and to hold its first ministerial meeting in Beijing at an early date.

The founding of such a forum shows the China-Latin America relationship has been elevated from the level of inter-state relations to comprehensive cooperation. It also sends out a strong signal of their commitment to strengthening unity and coordination and promoting South-South cooperation.

"China stands ready to work with Latin America and the Caribbean in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, APEC, G20, G77 and other international organizations and multilateral mechanisms to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, through better coordination and cooperation on global and hot-spot issues such as global governance, sustainable development, climate change and cyber security," Xi said.

On practical cooperation, Xi put forward a "1+3+6" framework to realize the goal of boosting two-way trade to 500 billion U.S. dollars in 10 years.

One means one plan, Xi said, referring to the Chinese-Latin American and Caribbean Cooperation Plan (2015-2019), with the aim of achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.

He suggested that "three engines" -- trade, investment and financial cooperation -- should propel the practical cooperation between China and Latin America to reach comprehensive development.

Cooperation between China and Latin American and Caribbean nations should focus on six areas: energy and resources, infrastructure building, agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation, and information technologies, Xi said.

According to the president, China will launch the 10-billion-dollar Special Loans for Chinese-Latin American and Caribbean Infrastructure and, on this basis, increase the credit line to 20 billion dollars. China also pledged to provide 10 billion dollars in preferential loans for Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The Latin American and Caribbean leaders attending the summit welcomed Xi's proposal, saying the region views China as an important cooperation partner and regards China's development as a significant opportunity.

In fact, economic and trade cooperation has become an important pillar of China-Latin American relations.

In the beginning of this century, bilateral trade focused on raw materials, primary goods and manufactured goods. About 20 percent of China's imports of crude oil and 60 percent of imports of soybeans came from Latin America.

In recent years, China began to diversify its investment in Latin America, seeking mergers or cooperation with local enterprises in areas ranging from natural resources to infrastructure and finance.

Bilateral trade has increased more than 20 times, from 12.6 billion dollars in 2000 to 261.6 billion dollars in 2013.

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