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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's Visits to Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile
2015/05/13

On May 13, 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visits to Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao and Assistant Commerce Minister Tong Daochi briefed on the relevant information and answered questions from the Chinese and foreign journalists.

Wang Chao said that Latin America and the Caribbean region is an important part of the developing world and emerging economies. In recent years, the region has maintained stable political situation, made major achievements in economic and social development, seen countries adhering to unity and self-reliance and actively promoting the progress of integration, and enjoyed a growing international status, having become one of the most promising regions in the world today.

Wang Chao pointed out that the China-Latin America relations have achieved leap-frog development in recent years. President Xi Jinping visited Latin America twice, attended China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit in Brasilia in July, 2014, on which the two sides jointly established China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefits and common development, and announced the establishment of the Forum of China and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and held the first ministerial meeting of the CELAC Forum in Beijing this January. The China-Latin America relations have entered into a new historical stage with bilateral cooperation and overall cooperation simultaneously advanced and mutually promoted. Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Latin America is of great significance for promoting an in-depth development of China's relations with the four countries, further deepening political mutual trust between China and the Latin American countries, enhancing the level of bilateral practical cooperation in all fields, strengthening bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges and traditional friendship, and opening up a new outlook of China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership.

With regard to Li Keqiang's visit to Brazil, Wang Chao said that Brazil is a major country in Latin America, an important emerging economy and the member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa). It is also the first developing country to establish a strategic partnership with China and the first country in Latin America to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. As two major developing countries in the eastern and western hemisphere respectively, China and Brazil always treat the bilateral relations from a strategic height. Last July, President Xi Jinping paid a successful historic visit to Brazil, further deepening China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides enjoy remarkable cooperation achievements in fields such as energy, mining, agriculture, manufacturing industry and finance. The technological cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges are rich and active. The China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program (CBERS) is hailed as a model for South-South cooperation in high technology. China has established ten Confucius Institutes and two Confucius Classrooms in Brazil. The two sides cooperate closely and support each other in major global affairs. The China-Brazil relations are beyond the bilateral scope, with their strategic and overall insights being continuously highlighted.

During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with President Dilma Rousseff, attend signing ceremonies, jointly meet the press, jointly attend the closing ceremony of the China-Brazil Business Summit and deliver speeches, and meet with the presidents of Brazil's Federal Senate and Chamber of Deputies. In addition to Brasilia, Premier Li Keqiang will also visit Rio de Janeiro and visit the Chinese Equipment Manufacturing Industry Exposition. The two sides will sign a package of agreements on inter-governmental and inter-enterprise cooperation in fields such as politics, economy, trade, finance, agriculture, science and technology, and will propose new ideas and new measures for developing new growth points of China-Brazil economic and trade cooperation and deepening cooperation in all fields.

Tong Daochi said that China-Brazil economic and trade cooperation enjoys fruitful results. Brazil is China's tenth largest trading partner in the world and is also China's largest trading partner, the largest investment destination and the second largest engineering contract market in the Latin American region. In 2014, China and Brazil had a total trade volume of 86.67 billion USD, and China held its position as Brazil's largest trading partner for the sixth consecutive year. By the end of 2014, the total volume of all China's investment in Brazil reached 18.94 billion USD, mainly covering fields such as energy, mining, electricity transmission, manufacturing industry, finance, agriculture, service sector and wholesale and retail sector. China's investment in Brazil has been in a state of diversification.

With regard to Li Keqiang's visit to Columbia, Wang Chao pointed out that as an important country in Latin America, Columbia has made significant progress in its internal peace process. Currently, China-Columbia relations are in the period of rapid growth with consolidated political mutual trust, close high-level exchanges and mutual support on major issues concerning each other's core interests. China-Columbia cooperation faces new opportunities.

Li Keqiang's visit coincides with the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Columbia, and also marks the first time for the Chinese Premier to visit Columbia over the past 30 years. During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold small-scale meeting and large-scale talks with President Juan Manuel Santos, attend the welcoming ceremony and signing ceremony and jointly meet the press. Besides, they will also jointly attend the China-Latin America People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Seminar. China and Columbia will sign a couple of agreements on inter-governmental and inter-enterprise cooperation in fields such as economy, trade, investment, infrastructure construction, manufacturing industry, agriculture, communications, culture and education.

Tong Daochi said that China-Colombia economic and trade relations have maintained a stable development. Colombia is China's fifth largest trading partner in Latin America, and China is Colombia's second largest trading partner in the world. In 2014, the total bilateral trade volume hit 15.64 billion USD. China and Colombia have established a joint working group to study the feasibility of a free trade area.

With regard to Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Peru, Wang Chao said that China and Peru have established a comprehensive strategic partnership. Currently, China-Peru relations are at a new period of comprehensive and rapid development. The two sides enjoy high-level political mutual trust and frequent high-level exchanges, and firmly support each other on major issues concerning each other's core interests. The two sides make use of their respective advantages to actively strengthen cooperation in fields such as energy, mining, economy, trade, investment, finance and people-to-people and cultural engagement, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples.

Premier Li Keqiang's visit marks the first time for the Chinese Premier to visit Peru over the past 20 years. During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold small-scale meeting and large-scale talks with President Ollanta Humala, attend the welcoming ceremony and signing ceremony, and jointly meet the press. Besides, Premier Li Keqiang will attend related people-to-people and cultural activities. China and Peru will sign a number of agreements on inter-governmental and inter-enterprise cooperation in fields such as economy, trade, investment, infrastructure construction, quality inspection, science, technology, aerospace and communications.

Tong Daochi said that since the signing of the free trade agreement between China and Peru in 2009, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has achieved a rapid development, with an annual growth rate of 24 percent in bilateral trade. At present, China is Peru's largest trading partner, largest export market and largest source of imports. In 2014, the bilateral trade volume reached 14.32 billion USD. By the end of 2014, the total volume of all China's investment in Peru reached 14.24 billion USD.

With regard to Li Keqiang's visit to Chile, Wang Chao said that Chile is the first country in South America to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the first country in Latin America to sign a free trade agreement with China. China and Chile have established a strategic partnership, and the current bilateral relations are in the fast track of all-round development. The two sides enjoy close high-level exchanges and firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests. The two sides enjoy active people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and maintain sound communication and coordination in international and regional affairs of the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and other organizations. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Chile, the 10th anniversary of the signing of the free trade agreement between the two countries, and also the "Year of Chinese Culture" in Chile.

During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with President Michelle Bachelet, attend the signing ceremony, jointly meet the press, attend the opening ceremony of the Economy and Trade Seminar marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Chile diplomatic relations and the seventh meeting of the China-Chile Business Council, and deliver an important speech at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The two sides will sign a number of agreements on inter-governmental and inter-enterprise cooperation in fields such as politics, economy, trade, finance, culture, science and technology.

Tong Daochi said that since the implementation of the China-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the bilateral trade has increased by five times, which has injected great vitality into the development of bilateral economic and trade relations. Chile is China's third largest trading partner, second largest source of imports and third largest export market in Latin America. In 2014, the bilateral trade volume reached 34.1 billion USD. During the visit, the two sides will discuss further completing the construction of the free trade area so as to comprehensively deepen bilateral economic and trade relations and bring more benefits to enterprises and consumers of both countries.

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