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  • Relations between China and the region are expected to strengthened, following the two-day meeting of foreign ministers and representatives from the Asian country and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell is attending the forum, which concludes on Friday, January 9, in Beijing.
  • China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang, said the inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, is an important event in the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Relations between China and the region are expected to strengthened, following the two-day meeting of foreign ministers and representatives from the Asian country and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell is attending the forum, which concludes on Friday, January 9, in Beijing.

China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang, said the inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, is an important event in the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.

“To many Chinese, Latin America and the Caribbean is a distant fascinating region. Since becoming foreign minister, I have visited the region four times, either with Chinese leaders or on my own. During each time, I have seen the benefits our cooperation has brought to our peoples and keenly felt the desire of Latin American and Caribbean countries to grow relations with China,” Minister Wang said.

He noted that the regions enjoy mutually beneficial cooperation in resources and energy development, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, high technology and other sectors.

“China-Latin America and the Caribbean relations, which feature extensive common interests and provide development opportunity for both sides, have been strengthened and are well-positioned to achieve even stronger growth,” he added.

Mr. Wang said that what both China and Latin American and Caribbean countries should do now “is to fully tap our respective strengths and elevate our relations to a higher level. To develop a new platform for pursuing collective cooperation is a strategic choice made by both sides in keeping with the trend of our times”.

In January 2014, the Special Declaration on the Establishment of the China-CELAC Forum was adopted by CELAC at its summit in Cuba. It demonstrates the shared desire of the Latin American and Caribbean countries to boost cooperation with China, and lays a good foundation for establishing the China-CELAC Forum.

In July 2014, the leaders of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries had a successful landmark meeting in Brazil. During the meeting, President Xi Jinping called for building a new relationship between China and Latin America and the Caribbean with five salient features, namely, sincerity and mutual trust in the political field, win-win cooperation on the economic front, mutual learning in culture, close coordination in international affairs, as well as mutual reinforcement between China’s cooperation with the region as a whole and its bilateral relations with individual countries in the region. This initiative was echoed by the Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The two sides announced the establishment of a comprehensive and cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development, and decided to launch the China-CELAC Forum and hold its inaugural Ministerial Meeting at an early date. This has set the course for growing both bilateral China-Latin America and the Caribbean relations and boosting collective cooperation between the two sides.

The inaugural Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum is expected to turn the vision of China-Latin America and the Caribbean cooperation into reality.

“I look forward to working closely with my colleagues of the CELAC member states to conduct, in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, in-depth discussions on important issues concerning China-Latin America and the Caribbean cooperation such as its guiding principles, priority areas and the institutional arrangement of the Forum,” Mr. Wang said.

“We are committed to making the meeting a success so that a good start will be made for the China-CELAC Forum and for sustaining collective cooperation between the two sides,” he added.

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