China, Chile unanimous over indepth mutual cooperation


Santiago—Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has highlighted the importance of the Chile-China strategic partnership and expected Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit would push forward the relationship to a new height.
“We have very important political and commercial ties with China,” Bachelet said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua prior to Xi’s visit. Chile, the last leg of Xi’s Latin America trip, which has taken him to Ecuador and Peru, has always led in developing relations with China. Chile is the first South American nation that forged diplomatic ties with China, the first Latin American country that signed a bilateral accord with China on China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
“In the current global context, China continues to be our leading trade partner,” said Bachelet. With the FTA signed in 2005, bilateral trade reached nearly 32 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. “We have increased non-copper exports, such as food products,” Bachelet said. It is now “time to modernize it (FTA) and adjust it to today’s circumstances,” said Bachelet, adding that the two countries are working together on the possibility of expanding it.
Besides, China has expressed its willingness to broaden the list of exportable services and assess the possibility of expanding e-commerce, which would increase trade diversity, said Bachelet. “I am sure that expanding the FTA is going to be, without a doubt, one of the topics of discussion with President Xi,” said Bachelet.—Xinhua