BEIJING — China and Latin America are natural partners in seeking common interests and development, and their increasingly close and mutually beneficial engagement is not directed against any third party.
Since the beginning of this century, China has stepped up efforts to uplift ties with Latin American countries, aiming to promote win-win cooperation and pursue common development.
In 2014, two-way trade between China and Latin America hit $263.6 billion, a 20-fold increase from the total value in 2000. China’s investment in the region also surged to more than $80 billion last year, according to statistics released by China’s Ministry of Commerce.
In a clear sign of China’s resolution to further beef up cooperation with Latin America, President Xi Jinping last year called for concerted efforts to double the annual trade in the next 10 years to $500 billion.
During Xi’s visit to Latin America last year, he highlighted the common role of China and Latin America in building a more balanced international order and a more prosperous world, pointing out that the two sides are growing into “a community of common destiny.”
In the latest manifestation of China’s sincerity in forging closer cooperation with Latin American countries, Premier Li Keqiang is now paying an official visit to Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile, less than a year after Xi’s trip to the region.
On the road toward rapid development, it is natural for China and Latin America to partner up: Similar development aspirations and complementary economic advantages bless bilateral cooperation with immense markets, exceptional investment opportunities and vast potential for future development.
However, as China-Latin America cooperation strides forward, there have been some noises accusing China of moving other people’s cheese.
Such finger-pointing is groundless. China harbors no intention to rival anyone in Latin America; its partnership with the region is not directed against any third party.
Instead, China wants all to benefit. China will be glad to see Latin America benefit from bilateral, trilateral and multilateral relations with other parties, which will also benefit China in the long run.
Particularly, China is willing to see other countries step up support for Latin America in line with the region’s development needs.
After all, a more vibrant and prosperous Latin America benefits the entire world, China included.