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Wang Yi: Forge the China-CELAC Forum and Establish a New Model for South-South Cooperation

On January 8, 2015, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and said that to establish and build the China-CELAC Forum well is a natural requirement for the two sides to deepen cooperation. This meeting should gather the political will and come up with concrete plans to promote the overall cooperation between China and Latin America and create a new model for South-South cooperation.

Wang Yi said that though China and the CELAC are far apart geologically, the two sides enjoy a long history of exchanges. Since the beginning of the new century, China and the CELAC have firmly grasped the theme of common development, and the pattern of converged interests of the two sides has gradually taken shape. The establishment of the China-CELAC Forum is not accidental, but a natural requirement to promote the China-Latin America relations to develop at a higher level. With the accelerated integration of the global economy, regional integration and cross-regional cooperation have flourished, and the desire of China and Latin America to carry out overall cooperation becomes stronger; therefore, the China-CELAC Forum emerged at the right moment.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping had put forward important guidance at the opening ceremony from a strategic and long-term perspective on how to build the China-CELAC Forum. The two sides should make joint efforts to build the China-CELAC Forum well.

Wang Yi said that it is the primary task of the Forum development to well carry out top-level design. The two sides, in the spirit of mutual respect and equal treatment, have jointly drafted and will pass a series of documents so as to provide the China-CELAC Forum with the policy basis, the program of action and the mechanism guarantee, which will pave the way for the smooth development of the Forum in the future.

Wang Yi said that it is the core of the Forum development to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. China and the CELAC should play their respective advantages to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and make the China-CELAC Forum practical and strong. During the meeting, the two sides will jointly draw up the China-CELAC Cooperation Plan (2015-2019) covering 13 key fields including politics and security, trade, investment and finance, infrastructure construction, energy resources, industry, agriculture, science and technology and people-to-people and cultural engagement. The implementation of this plan will elevate China-CELAC cooperation to an unprecedented level in terms of depth and breadth.

Wang Yi said that the follow-up implementation is an important guarantee for the Forum development, and the two sides should determine as soon as possible a series of specific cooperation projects in the key cooperation fields jointly worked out by the two sides and strive for early results, so that the people of both sides will see tangible benefits brought by the China-CELAC Forum at an early date.

Wang Yi stressed that China has carried out overall cooperation with various forms and fruitful results with other developing regions in recent years. As the cooperation within and cross the Latin American and Caribbean region started earlier and has rich experience, China and Latin America can learn experience from each other, so as to form the model for overall cooperation consistent with the characteristics and demands of the two sides and establish a new model for South-South cooperation.

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