For Latin America, ties with China are necessary and essential, a Cuban academic said following Chinese President Xi Jinping's message to the recently concluded 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Eduardo Regalado, senior researcher at the International Policy Research Center of Cuba, told Xinhua that the ties between Latin America and China are necessary and essential for the region, as the two sides both uphold "equality, mutual benefit and the promotion of the well-being of both peoples."
During his video speech to the summit, Xi said that China is willing to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to overcome difficulties together and jointly create opportunities to build a community of shared future between China and Latin America.
The Chinese president also spoke highly of the important role CELAC has played in maintaining peace and stability and promoting common development in the region in the past 10 years.
Regalado said Xi's words showed the recognition of CELAC's efforts in advancing Latin American integration.
"Xi appreciated the efforts made by this institutional platform for independence and self-empowerment," he said.
CELAC is an institution that springs from the region's own needs and does not have the participation of any external elements that could distort regional interests, Regalado said.
"China knows how to value this institution, to create a connecting platform with Latin America based on the fact that it is an institution born from the legitimate interests of the region," said the scholar, who is also studying China's economic evolution.
"CELAC will be a new point of development and will move to a new stage in ties with China based on the complementary interests that both parties have, both from the point of view of economics as well as politics," he said.
"In July 2014, the leaders of regional countries and I jointly announced the establishment of the Forum of China and CELAC, which has developed a new way for the comprehensive cooperation between China and Latin America," Xi said in his speech.
Regalado said Xi's message highlighted the connections between China and CELAC, and that the Chinese president values these connections that have "fostered the development of bilateral cooperation."
The academic added that in this regard, "the generous contribution" that China has offered to the region in the form of vaccine and health supplies during the pandemic cannot be forgotten, as it demonstrates China's willingness to contribute to regional development.