Chinese President said that his country's alliance with Latin America and Caribbean countries was of strategic importance as he opened the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Media Leaders Summit in Santiago.
The President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, reaffirmed his country's comprehensive strategic partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean to promote the development of its peoples in the current global circumstances.
Shared aspirations unite us, even if we are far away, said Xi Jinping speaking before over 100 top-rank representatives of the media from 24 countries. Media exchange is an important part of China-Latin America-Caribbean relations because they can do a great job to give continuity and momentum to the friendship between the two sides, he explained.
The Chinese president submitted a proposal in three specific areas to promote exchange between the media: first, to support each other to jointly boost their influence in both regions, relying on new technologies and internet to show the reality of China and Latin America and the Caribbean, making clear their positions on such transcendental issues as peace and development and the defense of the common interests of the developing countries.
He also sought to consolidate confidence in order to contribute to new developments and to objectively explain the complementary advantages of both sides, as well as to promote models of cooperation with an innovative spirit and called for the promotion of mutual exchange between the media, a proposal that included an invitation from the President to increase the number of Latin American and Caribbean media in China and to increase the number of journalists in China.
Xi Jinping also recognized ECLAC for playing an important role in boosting cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean. I hope you can continue to present more fruits and studies based on accumulated experiences to promote the articulation of our development strategies and make continuous new contributions to the development of our ties, he said.
ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena thanked the President for sharing his vision. His presence here reaffirms the visionary proposal China gives to its friendly relationship with Latin America.
Trade in goods between Latin America and the Caribbean and China has multiplied 22 times since 2000 and peaked in 2013, after which it has experienced two consecutive years of declines. Between 2013 and 2015 the value of the region's exports fell 23%, which is explained by the slowdown in China's growth, which has led to lower demand and sharp declines in the raw materials that make up the bulk of the regional export basket to that market.
Bárcena also noted that China has displaced the European Union in 2014 as the second largest trading partner in the region and looked forward to seeing progress in the Cooperation Plan 2015-2019 approved at the First Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum held in Beijing In January 2015, including US$ 500 billion in trade and US$ 250 billion in reciprocal foreign direct investment (FDI) stock.