First China-CELAC Forum ministerial meeting concludes in Beijing





 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) and his Costa Rican counterpart Manuel Gonzalez Sanz

hold a press conference in Beijing on January 9, 2015. The first ministerial meeting of the Forum

of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) concluded here

on Friday, with the announcement that the forum’s next ministerial meeting will be held in Chile

in 2018.   Photo by Xie Huanchi




China, CELAC

deepens cooperation

with major documents


By Liu Lu, Tan Jingjing and Wang Huihui


China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) agreed on three major documents on the last day of the first China-CELAC forum ministerial meeting.

The two-day meeting, co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Costa Rican counterpart, Manuel Gonzalez Sanz, passed a five-year cooperation plan, regulations for the forum and the Beijing Declaration.

According to the plan (2015-2019), on the political front, China will invite 1,000 party leaders from CELAC members to visit China.

Both sides will strive to achieve a trade volume of 500 billion U.S. dollars and investment of at least 250 billion U.S. dollars within a decade.

Services and e-commerce cooperation should be strengthened to facilitate trade and frictions should be properly handled, the plan said.

Infrastructure projects will help integration in Latin America and the Caribbean and connectivity between China and CELAC.

Civil aviation authorities and enterprises are encouraged to cooperate more and explore the possibility of increasing flights between China and the region.

China promises 6,000 government scholarships for CELAC members from 2015 to 2019 and will set up Chinese language courses in primary and middle schools.

According to the Beijing Declaration, China and CELAC will coordinate on major global issues, and work together on multilateral policy-making with more exchanges between legislative organizations, governments and youth.

Calling the forum a first, Wang said that China and CELAC were embracing opportunities for their all-round cooperation partnership, noting that the forum had given a strong “China-CELAC message” to the world.

China will work for both sides to reap early harvests from the forum and build a new model of South-South cooperation, Wang said. “We will be especially thorough in basic infrastructure. China has great strength in this field including production, techniques and equipment.”

China-CELAC cooperation is “open, inclusive and balanced” and excludes no third party, Wang added. “In cooperation with developing countries, China will consider their need for self-development… instead of simply trade and investment or mere one-off sales of resources and energy,” he said.

Co-chair Gonzalez described the meeting as “very practical” with an outcome defining concrete areas of cooperation. Key areas include political dialogue, trade, investment, infrastructure, tourism as well as agriculture, industry and science and technology.

The meeting will build a closer CELAC-China relationship and benefit people from both sides, Gonzalez said.

The forum’s next meeting will be held in Chile in 2018.






First China-CELAC Forum

ministerial meeting

concludes in Beijing


By Liu Lu and Cui Wenyi


The first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) concluded in Beijing on Friday of January 9 with the announcement that the forum’s next meeting will be held in Chile in 2018.

The two-day meeting, co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Costa Rican counterpart, Manuel Gonzalez Sanz, passed three major documents: the Beijing Declaration, a five-year cooperation plan and the regulations on the China-CELAC forum.

China and CELAC have also reached a consensus on deepening political mutual trust, expanding cooperation and promoting development of the forum.

Wang said that President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the opening ceremony will guide the development of the China-CELAC forum.

“China will make efforts so that both sides can reap early harvests from the forum and build a new model of South-South cooperation,” Wang said.

Gonzalez said that the historical meeting has launched overall cooperation between China and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region, which will build a closer CELAC-China relationship and benefit people from both sides.




Overseas scholars, media

laud Xi’s speech

at China-CELAC forum


By Xiong Ping and Wang Shang


Overseas experts, scholars and news media have positively commented on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech delivered at the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The two-day first ministerial meeting of China-CELAC Forum concluded in Beijing on Friday of January 9.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting on Thursday, Xi called on the two sides to seize new opportunities for cooperation while making proposals for the forum’s future development.

In positively commenting on the meeting, overseas experts, scholars and news media generally expressed the belief that a new chapter for China-CELAC cooperation has been opened.

Mapping out the future course for building a broader and more flexible cooperation platform, President Xi’s speech would mobilize all Latin American and Caribbean countries to integrate themselves into global common development via their cooperation with China, and would mark a new epoch for development of China-CELAC relations as well as the world economy, according to Severino Cabral, director at Brazil Institute of China and Asia Pacific Studies.

Marco Navas, an Ecuadoran expert on international issues, said that Xi’s speech is “exciting” and sends a positive signal for advancing China-CELAC comprehensive cooperative partnership, noting that the door of “China opportunities” is being opened to the Latin American and Caribbean region.

The prospect of China-CELAC cooperation that Xi describes is promising, said the expert.

Xi’s speech makes people fully confident in the prospects for China-Latin America cooperation and re-ignites the hope of the recession-clouded Latin American and Caribbean region, said Jorge Leon, an Ecuadoran social sciences researcher.

Xi’s speech is very sincere and outlines a bright future for China-CELAC cooperation, said Venezuelan political analyst Alberto Aranguibel.

Venezuela’s privately owned daily newspaper El Universal highlighted several proposals made by Xi at the meeting, including establishment of preferential credit lines, creation of a special fund for agricultural cooperation, provision of 6,000 scholarships and launch of an exchange program for young scientists.

The opening of the China-CELAC forum’s first ministerial meeting less than half a year after the forum was established in July 2014 showed that both sides are eager to strengthen cooperation with each other, said Ulises Granados, a professor of international relations at Mexico’s ITAM College.

The China-CELAC forum provides a new platform for China and CELAC countries to develop all-round cooperation, the professor said, expressing the hope that the forum will gradually become mature and bring about tangible results through pragmatic cooperation between the two sides.

The forum’s ministerial meeting was not only a positive signal on the future of both sides, but also a step of “world reorganization”, said Fernando Reyes, Chile’s former ambassador to China.

The forum will create a new atmosphere for strategic political dialogue,in which both sides could push for the implementation of concrete plans, and provide new opportunities, said Reyes.

Francisco Barahonas, a political analyst and professor with the University of Costa Rica, pointed out that the holding of China-CELAC forum shows the CELAC is now pursuing cooperation with China as an integral group.

Through cooperation in trade and economy, China and Latin American countries can realize mutual benefits and win-win results, bring tangible job opportunities to CELAC members.

Ecuadorian news agency, Andes, released an article noting that the forum has provided an opportunity to forge a closer partnership between China and the CELAC. For CELAC members, the present is a historic moment for considering how to use the China-CELAC forum as an instrumental platform within the framework of the CELAC, to find a mutually beneficial path of cooperation with China.

The Venezuela News Agency said that Xi’s speech has shown the sincerity and friendship of China. The “1+3+6″ cooperation framework has heralded a new chapter in China-CELAC cooperation. And, the six strategic fields for cooperation and close people-to-people cooperation proposed by China are “specific” and “pragmatic”, it said.









LatAm-China talks

help set up new world order


By Kong Xiaohan


Stepped up dialogue and cooperation between Latin America and China help establish a new world order, said Fernando Reyes Matta, Chile’s former ambassador to China, on Thursday of January 8.

The first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) marks “a step in the establishment of a new world order,” Reyes told Xinhua in an interview, referring to the two-day meeting that opened in Beijing on Thursday.

The forum is part of the process of building a new global order based on “shared interests,” but within “a framework of diversity,” Reyes said in Santiago, capital of Chile, where he serves as director of the Center for Latin American Studies on China.

“Latin America and China face similar challenges in many aspects,” said Reyes, mentioning “new middle classes, new social demands and changes in systems of production” among others.

The Latin America-China ties now need to progress “beyond the diversity of bilateral interests,” he added.

It is essential for CELAC to understand China’s new stage of economic development, “with lower growth than in the past, but with more consolidation and stability in emerging sectors that are creating a new dynamic,” said Reyes.

This stage offers new opportunities and a key for Latin America to discover China’s “new normal,” he noted.

The China-CELAC Forum was established during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Latin America in July 2014.

The major outcome of the ongoing meeting is expected to include a five-year cooperation plan, a Beijing Declaration and the Regulations on China-CELAC Forum.

Established in December 2011 in Venezuela, the 33-member CELAC comprises all South American countries and some Caribbean states plus Mexico.








China, Latin America ties

mean a lot to world


By Guo Likun


The latest deals between China and Latin America could evolve into a new model of South-South cooperation and help bring about a new world order.

The first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was a step toward a community of shared destiny.

Addressing the meeting which ended on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested all sides treat each other on an equal footing; be flexible and practical, cooperating in pursuit of shared interests and win-win results. Be open and inclusive, said the president. Attend to the interests of all.

The outcome of the meeting includes the Beijing Declaration and a five-year plan nailing down key areas for cooperation.

China’s “new normal” offers new opportunities for the world. Latin American and Caribbean states have never been in such a strong position to take advantage of those opportunities.

Latin America has “a historic opportunity to make a qualitative and quantitative leap forward in its economic and trade relations,” according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Infrastructure, innovation, productivity and competitiveness, the commission said, will be the reward for acting in unison to expand ties with China.

As new opportunities emerge, the international order is undergoing a profound adjustment. In the next ten years, China will seek 500 billion U.S dollars of trade and 250 billion U.S. dollars of direct investment in the region. It is the right time for China to work with Latin America and the Caribbean and the right time for development through South-South cooperation.

With closer cooperation between developing countries and China’s commitment to international relations which benefit all, fast development of these developing and emerging economies will invigorate the world and drive the international order in a more just and reasonable direction.









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