Colombian President Ivan Duque and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping Wednesday agreed in Beijing to strengthen bilateral relations as they signed 12 bilateral accords in areas including judicial cooperation, trade, agriculture, education and customs.
At a meeting in the Chinese capital, Xi thanked Duque for the latter father's involvement in the late 1970s in the establishing of relations between the two countries, which will celebrate their 40th anniversary next year.
The relay baton of China-Colombia bilateral ties is passed to us now, Xi said. I highly appreciate your visit to China, which shows that you are committed to enhancing the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Colombia, he added.
Xi called on both countries to intensify high-level exchanges and deepen mutual political trust, understanding and support. Xi also vowed China will continue to stand behind Colombia's peace process and the country's post-conflict reconstruction.
China welcomes Colombia to take part in the Belt and Road construction so as to realise the alignment of development strategies of both sides and enhance people-to-people exchanges, to jointly safeguard the existing international system within the United Nations to promote the reform of global governance mechanisms which will hopefully result in a more open economic globalization process.
Xi referred to Latin American and Carribean countries as a force to be reckoned with in the international arena as they boast huge potential and broad prospects. He said China has always respected the rights of Latin American people to choose a development path of their own, supported Latin America in speeding up its integration process and backed the proper handling of the Venezuela issue via dialogue and consultation. China stands ready to continue to play a role in encouraging dialogue and talks and would like to maintain contacts with Colombia, Xi said.
He added that China is willing to strengthen the building of the Forum of China and Community of Latin American and Carribean States.
Duque offered his congratulations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and praised Xi's leadership on both the domestic and the international fronts.
The Colombian leader also hoped to further step up bilateral ties and expand cooperation in areas including economy and trade, energy, infrastructure construction, connectivity, the digital economy and creative industries.
Duque welcomed investments from Chinese companies and added that he believed every bilateral project would help support the peace process together with Colombia's economic and social development.
Hailing the significance of the Belt and Road construction to world connectivity and international cooperation, Duque said Colombia will take an active part in the initiative.
Colombia attaches great importance to China's role in international and regional affairs and is willing to contribute to the development of Latin America-China ties, Duque explained.