Premier Li Keqiang holds talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on May 21 in the Colombian capital Bogota.[Photo/Chinanews]
Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on May 21 in the Colombian capital Bogota and he highlighted China’s interests in infrastructure and production capacity cooperation.
Li first conveyed greetings from President Xi Jinping to the Colombian president, and on behalf of the government and people he expressed condolences after a recent landslide in northwestern Colombia killed at least 78 people.
The traditional friendship between China and the Colombia is profound, and the two peoples are spiritually connected, he said as he endorsed Colombia’s lasting commitment to the “One China” policy. China also firmly supports the peace process within Columbia, Li added.
The 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations is a new starting point, to boost political trust, cooperation, expand cultural exchanges and strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs, for the benefit of the two peoples, Li said.
Li noted that the Chinese and the Colombian economies are highly complementary, cooperation prospects are promising and China is ready to work with Columbia to expand two-way investment and boost industrial development.
Priorities will be placed on exploring cooperation on production capacity and manufacturing and the participation of enterprises from developed countries is welcome, Li said. Cooperation with third parties will be energetically expanded and China will help Colombia advance its industrialization process.
The Chinese government encourages domestic enterprises to proactively participate in the building of infrastructure for expressways, subways and ports in Columbia, he said.
Both countries will explore and discuss financial cooperation to provide support for production capacity and equipment as well as infrastructure, Li said.
Li stressed that China attaches great importance to cultural exchanges and learning from each other, and the anniversary celebrations will mark past as well as future successes.
Links between their citizens will be expanded to promote cooperation in culture, education, science and technology, tourism and sports. Innovation in science and technology will also be boosted, while education and training will lead to greater exchanges between the two countries and enrich the cultural aspect of the relationship, he said.
Santos extended a warm welcome to the Premier on behalf of the Colombian government and people, and he voiced confidence that the visit will be a milestone in the development of relations.
With its establishment 35 years ago, the relationship has developed, and cooperation across fields such as politics, economy and culture has been consistently expanding, Santos said.
Colombia welcomes China’s energetic participation in the construction of expressways, subways, airports and ports as well as in the economic development zone, as well as explorations regarding cooperating in production capacity, equipment manufacturing and agriculture, he said.
Financial cooperation will be strengthened, and Columbia will learn from China’s experience in investing and financial cooperation. Tours and cooperation will be expanded, and Columbia welcomes Chinese tourists and will provide facilitation on visas. Cooperation regarding aspects such as education, culture and sports will also be strengthened.
The countries will continue coordination in international and regional affairs, he said and both countries agreed to initiate feasibility studies for a free-trade agreement.
Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperative documents covering the economy, trade, production capacity, infrastructure, culture, education, science and technology, agriculture, and finance and a joint statement was issued by the two governments.
Before the talks, the president hosted a welcome ceremony for the Premier who was accompanied by Santos in a review of the honor guard.