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Xi's Latin American tour to promote cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-30 01:24

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping's first visit to Latin America is of great significance to promoting China's cooperation with the region, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng said on Wednesday.

Xi will pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico from May 31 to June 6, Zhang told a press briefing.

"The Latin America and Caribbean region is one of the most dynamic and promising regions in the world," he said, adding that the visit will deepen China's relations with the three countries.

Trade volume between China and the Latin America and Caribbean region reached $261.2 billion in 2012, with a growth rate of 8.7 percent.

Xi will visit Trinidad and Tobago between May 31 and June 2.

Trinidad and Tobago is a major country in the Caribbean region, and China and Trinidad and Tobago have seen expanded cooperation in the economy and trade, infrastructure construction and in other sectors since they forged diplomatic ties 39 years ago, according to Zhang.

During the stay in Trinidad and Tobago, Xi will meet with President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, President of Senate Timothy Hamel-Smith and Speaker of House of Representatives Wade Mark.

He will also hold talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, with the pair due to attend the unveiling of a Children's Hospital.

The two sides will sign a number of cooperative documents covering the economy and trade as well as education, according to Zhang.

During the visit, Xi will hold bilateral meetings with leaders from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Surinam and Jamaica, all of which have diplomatic ties with China in the Caribbean region.

Zhang said the meetings will have profound impact on China's relationship with the Caribbean countries.

Xi will visit Costa Rica between June 2 and 4. Costa Rica is the only country having diplomatic relations with China in Central America.

Since the two sides forged diplomatic ties in 2007, they have seen fruitful cooperation in the economy and trade, investment, culture and education, Zhang noted.

China has become the second-largest trading partner of Costa Rica. Bilateral trade volume hit $6.173 billion in 2012, showing a year-on-year growth of 30.5 percent.

Xi will hold talks with President Laura Chinchilla and meet with President of Legislative Assembly Luis Fernando Mendoza. The two sides will exchange views on deepening bilateral ties and expanding cooperation.

China will sign a number of cooperative documents with Costa Rica covering the economy and trade, and quality inspection, said Zhang.

Xi will then visit Mexico between June 4 and 6. The assistant foreign minister described Mexico as a major Latin American country, a key emerging economy and one of China's most important partners in the Latin American region.

China is Mexico's second-largest trading partner, while Mexico is China's second-largest trading partner in Latin America. The two nations' Bilateral trade volume reached 36.68 billion U.S. dollars last year.

While in Mexico, Xi will hold talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto and meet with leaders of the Congress, Zhang said, adding that President Xi will also deliver a speech in the Congress of the Union.

The two sides will exchange views on raising the level of the bilateral strategic partnership and deepening pragmatic cooperation.

They will also sign a series of cooperative documents in the areas of the economy and trade as well as academics, and issue a joint statement.

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