Xi’s Latin America visit to boost bilateral partnership

Our Correspondent

Beijing—Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to three Latin American countries will boost the comprehensive partnership of cooperation between China and Latin America, senior officials said Thursday.
Xi will pay a week-long state visit to Ecuador, Peru and Chile from Nov.17 to 23 and attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting from Nov. 19 to 20 in Lima, capital city of Peru.
This is Xi’s third visit to Latin America since he took office in 2013, said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao at a press conference held Thursday morning, hailing the flourishing momentum of the development of China-Latin America ties in past years.
Wang said the visit will further consolidate the traditional friendship between China and the three countries and lift mutual trust and substantial cooperation.
It will also help push forward development of the China-Latin America all-round partnership of cooperation and contribute to addressing the challenges facing developing countries, including China and Latin American countries, and to promoting common development and building a community of shared destiny, he said.
According to Wang, during his stay in Ecuador, Xi is expected to exchange views with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on bilateral ties. The two presidents will also witness the signing of a series of deals, meet with the press and attend a launch ceremony of an assistance program together.
Xi will meet with Ecuadorian President of the National Assembly Gabriela Rivadeneira.
The two countries are slated to issue a joint statement, said Wang.
During his stay in Peru, Xi is expected to hold talks with his Peruvian counterpart, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, meet with Peruvian President of Congress Luz Salgado and deliver a speech at the congress, Wang said.
The two presidents will also attend the closing ceremony of the 2016 China-Latin America Cultural Exchange Year, he said. During his stay in Chile, Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, attend a signing ceremony for agreements and meet with the press, Wang said, adding that a joint statement will be issued.
All three countries have distinct features in the region and share traditional friendship with China, the vice foreign minister said.
According to Zhang Xiangchen, deputy China international trade representative, the three countries are China’s major economic and trade partners in Latin America.
During Xi’s visit, China will focus on discussing optimizing bilateral free trade arrangements and conducting cooperation in areas of e-commerce, production capacity, industrial parks and infrastructure construction under the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual learning, said Zhang at the press conference.
A series of cooperative agreements are expected to be signed, and fruitful results will be achieved, Zhang said. Official statistics show that the trade volume between China and Latin America rose more than twentyfold during the past decade to reach 236.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.
Currently, China is the second largest trade partner and third largest investment source country of Latin-America, while Latin America is China’s seventh largest trade partner.
“China looks forward to deepening cooperation with Latin America so as to promote the economic recovery and prosperity of the world,” Zhang added.

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