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Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile will lift China's relations with Latin America to a new level.
On the basis of their traditional friendship, China and Latin American countries have deepened their cooperation in a wide range of fields, supporting each other in safeguarding sovereignty, opposing foreign interference and exploring a path of development that suits their national conditions.
Latin American countries are playing an increasingly important role in world affairs and are enjoying a prevailing trend of rejuvenation and social stability. That Mexico has just hosted a meeting of the G20 leaders and Brazil the Rio+20 conference testifies to Latin America's growing clout.
Wen's visit is a clear signal that China attaches great importance to its relations with Latin American countries. And the fruits the trip has yielded so far indicate both sides are keen to develop pragmatic cooperation in trade.
In 2011, China's trade with Latin America reached $241.5 billion, up 31.5 percent on the previous year, making China the third-largest trading partner for the region after the United States and the European Union. China is now the largest trading partner of Brazil and Chile and the second largest of Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
It is beneficial for both sides to keep their markets open and strengthen trade ties. By doing so, they will not only sharpen their own competitive edge, they will also contribute more to the global economic recovery.
China and Argentina have agreed to set up a dialogue mechanism to explore the integration of the two countries' industries and guide the expansion of cooperation between the two countries' enterprises. They have also agreed to comprehensively deepen cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, financial services and energy.
On Monday, in a video conference with leaders from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, Wen said China should carry out feasibility studies on the possibility of a trade deal with the South American Common Market, an economic and political group that also includes Paraguay.
China and Latin American countries' resolve to seize opportunities and face challenges together will bring benefits to themselves and help promote more balanced development.
(China Daily 06/27/2012 page10)