BEIJING — As the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) prepares to open, the timing is right for China and Latin America to break new ground and promote cooperation in an all-round manner.
The two-day meeting, starting on Jan 8 in Beijing, will see representatives from China and CELAC meeting together with the heads of Latin American regional organizations.
The event is expected to push China-Latin America comprehensive cooperation to a new level.
The idea of this meeting was agreed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Latin America in July 2014. Xi and CELAC leaders announced the establishment of the cooperation forum and agreed to hold its first ministerial at as soon as it could be arranged.
Within only half a year, the agreement has entered into implementation phase and will mark a major achievement, a fact indicating that all participants involved are sincere and keen to promote the cooperation with this platform.
China values the development potential of Latin America, and it will also provide more opportunities to Latin America to take a ride on the Chinese “express train” of development.
Into the 21st century, China-Latin American trade has increased more than 20 times, from $12.6 billion in 2000 to $261.6 billion in 2013.
Cooperation between the two sides has also covered a broader field including technologies, education, infrastructure, finance and investment.
For China and Latin American and Caribbean states, who have similar development aspirations and are seeing eye to eye regarding their ties, the all-round cooperation, which features equality, mutual benefit and common development, just happens naturally.
The upcoming ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC forum will discuss guiding principles of cooperation, major cooperative areas and institution building.
The two sides will also use the forum for collective dialogue on politics, economics, trade and culture.
These efforts will further enrich the perspective of China-CELAC cooperation, bringing closer ties.
Moreover, it is also believed that the meeting will extend China’s collective cooperation mechanism to include all developing countries.
With consensus in mind and practical work in need, the China-Latin America cooperation, which covers about one-fifth of the world’s area and a quarter of the world’s population, will also make its unique contribution to world’s economy and international order.