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A New Chapter in China-LAC Friendship and Cooperation

On July 30, 2014, the Barbados Advocate published an article entitled A New Chapter in China-LAC Friendship and Cooperation by H.E. Ms. Wang Ke, Chinese Ambassador to Barbados, introducing the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit in Brazil and the new proposals announced by President Xi Jinping of China to enhance the cooperation with the Latin American and Caribbean countries. The full text of the article is as follows:

From July 15th-23th, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid state visits to four countries of Latin America and attended the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit. President Xi together with the leaders of 11 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries, renewed friendship, sought common development, and discussed cooperation. The leaders agreed to establish the China-LAC comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development, and jointly announced the establishment of the Forum of China and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), as well as the common will of holding the first Ministerial Meeting of the Forum in Beijing as soon as possible. This Summit marked a beginning of the China-LAC comprehensive cooperation, and charted the course of the future development of the relations between China and the LAC countries.

President Xi announced China's proposals and measures on promoting China-LAC cooperation, proposed to build up a Five-in-One new pattern of China-LAC relations: sincerely trust each other in politics, cooperate with each other for a win-win outcome in economy and trade, learn from each other in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, closely cooperate with each other in international affairs, and promote each other in overall cooperation and bilateral relations, so as to forge a hand-in-hand community of common destiny.

President Xi proposed to jointly build a new "1+3+6"cooperation framework.

"1"means "one plan", referring to the establishment of the China-Latin American Countries and Caribbean States Cooperation Plan (2015-2019) with the aim of enhancing the relations and cooperation between China and countries of LAC, especially between China and small island countries of Caribbean.

"3" means "three engines", referring to promoting the comprehensive development of China-LAC practical cooperation with trade, investment and financial cooperation as the impetus.

"6" means "six fields", referring to boosting China-LAC cooperation in energy and resources, infrastructure construction, agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation, and information technologies as priorities.

China will strive to promote China-LAC trade to scale up to 500 billion USD and the Chinese investment stock to LAC up to 250 billion USD within ten years.

China will formally implement the 20 billion USD special loans for China-LAC infrastructure, provide 10 billion USD of concessional loans for LAC countries, and launch the China-LAC Cooperation Fund with a commitment to invest 5 billion USD.

Over the following 5 years, China will provide LAC countries with 6,000 government scholarships, 6,000 training offers in China and propose to hold China-LAC Cultural Exchange Year in 2016.

In Brazil, President Xi Jinping also attended the sixth BRICS Summit. The 5 developing countries announced the signing of the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Treaty for the establishment of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). This is a new multilateral financial institution established by developing countries, and also an important step of building Financial Safety Net for the developing countries themselves. These institution and arrangement are not only for the BRICS, but also for the other emerging and developing economies. There should be no doubt that Barbados and other Caribbean countries could all benefit from them.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Barbados in 1977, the bilateral relationship has developed steadily and healthily, while the mutual beneficial cooperation has made fruitful achievements. In June, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in Trinidad, and the two leaders reached wide consensus on further deepening bilateral friendly cooperation. And the proposals and measures announced at China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit in Brazil provided new historic opportunities for the China-Barbados cooperation. Through the continuously deepening of the cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, agriculture, etc, the powerful engine of the robust growth of China's economy will bring impetus to economic development of Barbados. Meanwhile, China will continue to strengthen the experiences sharing and cooperation with Barbados in climate change and environment protection, to facilitate the sustainable development of both countries. China will also promote the cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries, to help the two peoples understand each other better and to consolidate the China-Barbados friendship.

The grand ship of China-LAC comprehensive cooperation has set sail. China is willing to make joint effort with Barbados and other LAC countries, to seize the new opportunities and steer in the right direction for the betterment and common prosperity of the peoples of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries.

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