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Xi's Latin America trip to usher in new era

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

Such frequent high-level visits are sure to consolidate traditional friendship and pave the way for future cooperation.

Chile, the last leg of Xi's visit, has always led relations with China. It was the first South American nation to forge diplomatic ties with China, the first Latin American country that signed a bilateral accord with China on China's membership to the World Trade Organization and signed a free trade agreement with China.

In the economic and trade sector, trade volume between China and Latin America has risen more than twenty-fold during the past decade to hit $236.5 billion in 2015. Currently, China is the second largest trade partner and third largest investment source country of Latin America, while Latin America is China's seventh largest trade partner.

As an emerging economy and the largest developing country in the world, China has always stood with developing countries and fulfilled its due responsibilities commensurate with its status as a global economic power.

China provided cash support of $2 million and humanitarian aid worth $9.2 million to Ecuador after a fatal earthquake killed 668 people, injured 4,859 and displaced around 80,000 in April.

Furthermore, China provided financial and technical support to help Latin American countries bridge the infrastructure deficit.

Thanks to China's financial support, the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, the largest hydroelectric plant ever constructed by a Chinese company, in northeast Ecuador, is expected to generate 1,500 megawatts of energy and meet 30 percent of Ecuador's demand.

The plant, along with others built by Chinese companies, will help Ecuador transform from a power-hungry country into a clean energy exporter and greatly contribute to the country's economic development.

Within the framework of the China-CELAC Forum, cooperation has also flourished in other areas like education, people-to-people exchanges and culture.

China promised Latin American and Caribbean countries 6,000 government scholarships within five years from 2014.

In addition, various cultural activities have been run in China and Latin America to boost mutual understanding and consolidate the basis for a lasting friendship. Moreover, 2016 is the "Year of Cultural Exchanges" between China and the region.

It is believed that Xi's visit will consolidate the traditional friendship, promote common development and build a community of shared destiny between China and Latin America.

--Xinhua

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