Rising power of good relations

Updated: 2014-07-18 07:44

By Yuan Dongzhen (China Daily)

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Xi Jinping's Latin America trip set to improve political understanding and advance a fairer international order as well as promote smoother trade

From a diplomatic perspective, President Xi Jinping's visit to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba, which began in Brazil after the conclusion of BRICS summit on Wednesday, shows that the current Chinese leadership highly values its relations with the Caribbean and Latin American countries and wants to strengthen its overall diplomatic layout with developing countries.

Being a developing country itself, China has long been advocating multipolarization, and the Caribbean and Latin America have undoubtedly become an essential part of Chinese diplomacy. However, given their geographical distance from Asia and historical reasons, the Caribbean and Latin America have not been at the forefront of China's diplomatic efforts, and relations have even slightly lagged behind China's relations with some other developing countries. To remedy this requires joint efforts.

Specifically, the four countries on Xi's itinerary are all closely bonded with China in political and economic exchanges. China has maintained an enduring friendship with Cuba since 1960. It forged a solid strategic partnership with Brazil in 1993, updated a strategic partnership based on joint development with Venezuela in 2001, and developed a strategic partnership with Argentina in 2004.

Brazil is China's largest Latin American trade partner and Argentina its fifth, and China is Brazil's largest trade partner and the second largest of Argentina. China is a major business partner of Venezuela and one of the biggest investors in that country. China is now the second-largest trade partner of Cuba, which remains China's largest trading partner in the Caribbean area.

One of the highlights of Xi's trip is his meeting with the leaders of Latin American and Caribbean nations, when he attends the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit in Brazilia on Thursday. Themed "equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation", the meetings are expected to realize more consensuses on regional and international affairs, and will help consolidate South-South relations.

Economic and trade exchanges, indispensable to the comprehensive cooperation between China and the Caribbean and Latin America, are benefiting peoples' lives from both sides' increasing demand, but at the same time they are subject to critical challenges.

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