Yearender: China reaches out to LatAm, Africa for new-era cooperation

Updated: 2015-12-23 17:03


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Yearender: China reaches out to LatAm, Africa for new-era cooperation

President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st R) pose for photo with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros (2nd L) and his wife before their meeting in Beijing, Jan 7, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

China promises 6,000 government scholarships for students and scholars from CELAC members from 2015 to 2019 and will help set up Chinese-language courses in primary and middle schools.

According to the Beijing Declaration, China and CELAC will coordinate on major global issues, and work together on multilateral policy-making with more exchanges between legislative organizations, governments and youth.

Such cooperation between the two sides has been hailed by officials and experts.

"The time is right for Latin America and the Caribbean to take a qualitative leap in its relations with China," Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Xinhua.

Barcena said the cooperation plan is "a necessary and important first step" in terms of sharing experience in promoting sustainable development, as it "defines an institutional framework and general guidelines."

CELAC, a bloc consisting of all the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, can be a main platform for furthering cooperation between China and the region, according to Barcena.

Ecuadoran Vice President Jorge Glas, whose country holds the rotating presidency of CELAC, told Xinhua in early December that cooperation between China and CELAC can help the region's transition from being producers of raw materials to makers of value-added goods.

"Even though Latin America is going through a rough path on the economic front, with some countries, including Brazil, facing recession, relations (with China) can still be fruitful," said Evandro Carvalho, a researcher at Brazilian public policy think thank Getulio Vargas Foundation.

He said infrastructure projects such as the 5,000-km railway connecting South America's Atlantic and Pacific coasts via Brazil and Peru, will improve the economy of the countries involved, helping them overcome the crisis and strengthening their relations with China.