China to cement partnership with Latin America: Ambassador

August 03rd, 2009 | Xinhua

A senior Chinese diplomat said here on Monday that the country would continue to push forward ties with the Latin American and Caribbean countries.

“It is the firm foreign policy of the Chinese government to enhance unity and cooperation with the Latin American countries,” said Qiu Xiaoqi, Chinese ambassador to Brazil, in an interview with Xinhua.

In recent years, the Latin American countries have actively explored their own path of development and maintained political stability and sustained economic growth, said Qiu.

As regional cooperation flourishes, the overall strength of the region has grown, Qiu said, adding Latin American countries have become an important force in the international arena.

“Both China and the Latin America are in the similar stage of development and face the same task of development,” Qiu said.

The mutual trust and friendship between China and Latin American countries were enhanced, featuring frequent high-level contact and improved dialogue between the two sides, said Qiu.

“The two sides have also shown mutual understanding and support to each other’s core interests and issues of major concern, and maintained close communication and coordination on major international affairs,” he said.

The Sino-Latin American economic and trade exchanges and cooperation have expanded and the mutual investment has increased as well in recent years, Qiu said.

In 2008, the trade volume between China and Latin America reached nearly 150 billion U.S. dollars, a more than ten-fold increase compared to 2000.

The areas of cooperation were also expanding to such fields as energy and resources, telecommunication, infrastructure construction, agriculture and finance.

The Sino-Latin American humanistic exchanges were ever expanding, featuring frequent mutual visits of cultural groups and various cultural activities, said Qiu.

He said the establishment of Confucius Institutes and the “Chinese fever” in more and more Latin American countries had helped consolidate the friendship between the two peoples.

At present, the international situation is undergoing the most profound and complex changes since the end of the Cold War, and the rise of emerging countries has become one of the most active factors in promoting the development of international situation, Qiu said.

Latin America is an important region with regard to the rise of emerging countries. The regional powers played active roles in the frameworks of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the Group of Five (G5) and the Group of 20, of which Brazil is particularly prominent, he said.

“Under the new circumstances, we will further strengthen ties with Brazil from a strategic height and long-term perspective,” Qiu said.

“First, We will have more high-level exchanges with Brazil,” he said. Since 2008, Chinese president Hu Jintao and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have met six times on bilateral ties and major international issues, which specified the direction of the development of bilateral ties.

He said China would continue to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Brazil. Against the backdrop of financial crisis, the China-Brazil trade volume has kept growing. China became the first trading partner of Brazil in April 2009, and the two countries signed a 10 billion U.S. dollar oil trade and financing agreement in May this year.

China and Brazil would also strengthen multilateral coordination, said Qiu. At the G20 summits in Washington and London, the two countries maintained close communication and cooperation on issues of coping with the financial crisis and promoting the reform of international financial system.

The leaders of both countries also attended the first summit of the BRICs, where they had in-depth discussion on major issues of common concern and expanded their consensus.

“The Sino-Brazilian cooperation has boosted the development of the Sino-Latin American ties and the cooperation between the emerging countries, which plays an increasingly important role in building a more just and rational international political and economic order,” Qiu said.

China issued its first policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean in November 2008. It says that the Chinese government seeks to build and develop a comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development with countries in the region.

In the address to the Peruvian Congress last November, Chinese President Hu Jintao also elaborated on the connotation of the partnership and raised five proposals to boost Sino-Latin American cooperation.

“We will live up to the spirit of the 11th meeting of diplomatic envoys and push forward the Sino-Latin American ties so as to make greater contribution to building a harmonious world.” Qiu said.

Editor: Zhang Xiang




Category: Central & South America