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Uruguay hosts highest Chinese official to ever visit the country

Saturday, June 23rd 2012 - 03:35 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Premier Wen Jibao and President Mujica during discussions in Government House Premier Wen Jibao and President Mujica during discussions in Government House

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Uruguay Friday, his first stop on a multi-nation visit to South America. Wen's arrival marks the first time a Chinese premier has visited Uruguay since diplomatic ties were established in 1988.

In a statement, Wen said that he and his counterparts would discuss international and regional issues of mutual interest.

During his stay in Uruguay, Wen held private talks with President Jose Mujica and also met with Vice-President Danilo Astori, and the President of the Chamber of Representatives Jorge Orrico.

A Uruguayan foreign ministry source said there was strong government interest in having Chinese investors fund the building of a deepwater port in the southeast department of Rocha.

Wen, whose stay wraps up Saturday, is also scheduled to visit Chile and Argentina on his trip to the region.

Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Uruguay will be significant for strengthening political mutual trust and deepening friendly cooperation between the two countries, Chinese Ambassador to Uruguay Qu Shengwu told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

“It will be another major diplomatic event between the two countries after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Uruguay last year and Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro's visit to China earlier this year”, said Qu Shengwu.

Bilateral relations have been developing smoothly and friendly cooperation between the two sides in various fields has been grown sustainedly since China and Uruguay established diplomatic ties in 1988, Qu said.

Bilateral trade reached 3.4 billion dollars in 2011, growing nearly 30% year-on-year, despite the international financial crisis and the sluggish world economy, pointed out the Chinese ambassador.

Currently China has become not only Uruguay's second largest trade partner but has been the largest importer of Uruguay's wool, soybeans and paper pulp.

As bilateral ties forge ahead, people-to-people exchanges have become closer between the two countries, Qu said.

More and more Uruguayans are interested in learning the Chinese language and culture. Over 30 students from Uruguay are studying in China, Qu said.

During his stay in Uruguay, Wen will meet with Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, Vice President Danilo Astori, and President of the Chamber of Representatives Jorge Orrico.

The two sides will release a joint statement and sign a series of cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, technology, and agriculture and quality surveillance.

Uruguayan Foreign minister Almagro described relations with Beijing as “excellent” during a recent visit to China and underlined the investment possibilities Uruguay has to offer an expanding economy as China.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    Hopefully this will give Uruguay a chance to forge ahead with promoting the new port facility which China, alledgedly, has committed itself to finance and build, to be sited between Jose Ignacio and Brasil.

    Jun 23rd, 2012 - 02:32 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Don't know Jose Ignacio, Chris.
    Is there a road & rail infrastructure to support a deep water port in this region?

    Jun 23rd, 2012 - 08:27 pm 0
  • ChrisR


    Jose Ignacio is a tarted up area, the main claim to fame being a lighthouse (yawn) which we looked at when we were here on holiday in 2010.

    It is said by the government that it will be sited to be north of there and south of Chuy so that goods can easily be exported / imported from either Uruguay or Brasil. It would require a link road.

    But the road from Montevideo to Chuy (Ruta 9) is good and the link road to the new port anywhere along that coast would be very short (6.5 km @ Chuy to

    Jun 24th, 2012 - 03:25 pm 0
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