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China's Latin America presence not a threat

Updated: 2013-11-13 20:34
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The United States does not see China's increasing engagement in Latin America as a threat and the two countries' presence in the region is not a zero-sum game, a US official said in Beijing on Wednesday.

Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, made the remarks after she co-chaired the Sixth China-US Sub-Dialogue on Latin America, an annual consultation with the Chinese side to share views and policy priorities on Latin America and the Caribbean.

"We see China's increasing engagement in this (western) hemisphere - in both trade relationship and investment relationship - as extremely positive," the US official told reporters.

Jacobson said millions of people in Latin America had been lifted out of poverty over the last decade. Many people had also become part of the middle class. She said the robustness of the relationship with China was part of the reason for the economic improvement.

As long as trade and investment are based on international rules that everyone has agreed to and complies with local labor and environment standards, it is "absolutely and definitely" a good thing, said the assistant secretary.

Countries in Latin America are seeking greater engagement with China, she said.

Jacobson said Chinese and US trade and investment relationships are different. What her country provides for Latin American consumers are mostly high-end and value-added products. "We do not in any way see China as a threat," She added. "What we do see is the potential for greater partnership."

The cooperation between the United States and China in Latin America can be win-win-win, for all three, the official said.

"It sounds perhaps a little bit, you know, overly positive," Jacobson said. "But so far, I don't see a situation in which the United States feels that it has lost and where we feel like China has won, because we don't see it is as a zero-sum (game)," she said.

China and Latin America have increased pragmatic cooperation in recent years, delivering tangible benefits to both sides.

With two-way trade reaching $261.2 billion in 2012, China has become the second largest trading partner of Latin America and the Caribbean, which witnessed the world's fastest growth in exports to China.

By investing nearly 65 billion US dollars so far in Latin America and the Caribbean, China has helped create much-needed jobs in the region.

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