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Xi's Latin America trip to usher in new era

China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-15 07:27

Xi's Latin America trip to usher in new era

President Xi Jinping and guests attend a photo session during the opening ceremony of the first Ministerial Meeting between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Latin America is expected to improve the all-round cooperative partnership and usher in a new era of bilateral relations. Xi will pay state visits to Ecuador, Peru and Chile from Nov 17 to Nov 23, and attend the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting from Nov 19 to 20 in Lima, Peru.

This will be Xi's third visit to Latin America since he took the presidency in March 2013, and the visit to Ecuador will be the first since diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1980.

The visit shows that China and Latin America are striving for win-win cooperation and common development under the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual learning.

During Xi's visit, China will discuss free trade arrangements and cooperation in e-commerce, production capacity, industrial parks and infrastructure.

At present, affected by a weaker global market and the falling prices of commodities, Latin America needs capital and technology to improve its manufacturing capabilities, reduce its dependence on the export of raw materials and boost economic transformation.

As China has cost-effective equipment, and Latin America needs infrastructure and industrial upgrading, Xi's visit comes at a time when there are ample opportunities to expand the current relationship.

In fact, China-Latin America ties have been improving. Back in July 2014, Xi and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) announced the establishment of the China-CELAC Forum. In January 2015, China and the CELAC inked a five-year cooperation plan at the first ministerial meeting of the cooperation forum in Beijing.

The cooperation forum marked a new era of mutual benefit and common development and improved bilateral cooperation in various fields.

In the political sphere, ties have been propelled forward by the exchanges of high-level visits. Peru, the first country in the Latin America to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China, will be Xi's second leg of the visit. Xi's visit to Peru comes hot on the heels of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's state visit to China in September, which was his first state visit since he assumed the presidency.

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