Chinese president Hu Jintao was the first to congratulate the newly formed CELAC and expressed Beijing’s wishes to strengthen trade relations, cooperation and political understanding with the region.
“The Chinese side always addresses links with Latinamerica and the Caribbean from a strategic perspective and is willing to strengthen dialogue, exchanges and collaboration with CELAC” said the Chinese president in a letter which was read to the summit by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, host of the meeting that brought together 33 leaders from the region.
The letter addressed to all the countries attending the CELAC summit indicates Beijing’s willingness to promote “joint efforts with the purpose of establishing and developing an alliance under the precepts of equality, mutual benefit and shared development for an integral bilateral cooperation”.
Hu Jintao underlines the “identical willingness” from Latinamerican and Caribbean countries “to safeguard regional peace and to promote shared development in these new circumstances”.
Further on the Chinese president underscores the highly positive role displayed by the region in international and regional affairs and expresses its convincement that the creation of CELAC will contribute “significantly to the strengthening of the union and coordination among countries of the region so as to jointly address world challenges”.
Relations between China and Latinamerica this century are developing in an “integral and quick” way with a “constant expansion” of cooperation in all fields, adds the letter from Hu Jintao.
Latinamerica has become one of China’s most important suppliers of commodities and market for its manufactured goods. In many countries of the region China has become the leading trade and investment partner displacing the US and the EU.