Xi gets Argentine welcome

Updated: 2014-07-20 09:09

By WU JIAO in Buenos Aires (China Daily Latin America)

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Xi gets Argentine welcome
President Xi Jinping receives an Argentine soccer jersey with his name on it from Argentina's Vice-President Amado Boudou on Saturday. [Photo/Agencies]

Argentina welcomed visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping with horses and tango performances Saturday aimed at increasing agricultural and cultural communication between the two countries.

During a reception at the Republic Manor 70 kilometers outside of Buenos Aires, Xi Jinping pledged to enhance agricultural cooperation between the two major agriculture countries.

The 5,000-hectare manor, dating back to 17th century, combines state-of-the-art advanced agricultural technology and traditional Argentina culture, and boasts thousands of heads of top-bred horses, cattle and sheep.

During his three-hour visit at the manor, Xi was treated to exciting performances featuring two of Argentina's most celebrated national treasures — horsemanship and the tango.

When horsemen in traditional costumes rode across the vast pasture waving the national flags of the two nations, Xi and his delegation burst into applause.

Promoting agriculture cooperation with Argentina has been a major topic high on Xi's agenda.

Noting that China had to feed a large population with limited arable land, Xi stressed that the two countries had great potential to cooperate in the agriculture sector.

Xi said the two countries should enhance their cooperation in the agriculture sector by increasing trade and investment and enhancing technology.

Julián Domínguez, head of the Lower House and Argentina's former minister of agriculture, accompanied Xi on his visit, showcasing Argentina's wine and olive oil and proposing more export of these products to the Chinese market.

Argentina has a well-developed agriculture industry and abundant natural resources. Its annual soy output stands at around 50 million tons, making it the world's third-largest soy producer.

China has limited arable land in per capita terms, and has a growing need for cereals as its population grows wealthier and demands more diversified and higher-quality foods.

Argentina's abundant and quality agricultural foods can find a vast market in the world's most populous country.

China now is Argentina's biggest market for agricultural exports, its second-largest trade partner and its third leading investor.

Agriculture has always occupied a central place in China-Argentina trade ties.

In the past three years, Argentina's agricultural exports to China were steady at $5 billion annually.

The Argentine firm Biogenesis Bago established a production base in China to produce vaccines against foot and mouth disease affecting cattle there, becoming the first foreign firm authorized by China to operate in that sector.

Xinhua contributed to the story.