BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) — China and Latin America, the world’s biggest developing country and important emerging continent which face common arduous development missions, are exerting greater efforts to boost their mutually beneficial cooperation.
As a latest example, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will visit Cuba, Uruguay and Chile from June 4 to 11, and meet their leaders to enhance bilateral ties.
Cuba is the first Latin American country to forge diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. It is also China’s biggest trade partner in the Caribbean region. Over the past decade, two-way trade increased from 440 million U.S. dollars in 2001 to 1.83 billion in 2010.
China and Uruguay established diplomatic ties in 1988 and they have enjoyed meteoric trade rises in recent years. Bilateral trade in 2010 hit 2.63 billion dollars, a sharp increase of 69.3 percent year on year.
Chile is the first Latin American country to support China’s entry into the World Trade Organization by signing a bilateral agreement, fully recognize China’s full market economy status, and ink a free trade treaty with China. Bilateral trade in 2010 reached 25.8 billion dollars, a 44.8-percent rise over the previous year.
The sound relations between China and the three countries are epitomes of China-Latin America friendly ties.
China, with a land of 9.6 million square km and the world’s biggest population of 1.34 billion, Latin America, with a land of 21 million square km and a population of 590 million, have quite some similarities concerning the pains they suffered over the past centuries and the development challenges they are facing on their modernization roads.
Both, over the past centuries, were ravaged by guns and cannons of the Western powers and ensuing semi- or full colonization, and robbed of a sea of raw materials and fund.
Currently, despite their noticeably rising political influence and economic weight on the world stage, they are facing common tasks of combating hegemonism, poverty, corruption, a widening wealth gap, pollution, among others.
Just because of suffering biting pains in history, China and Latin America can deeply understand each other’s penchant for political independence and economic development.
Just because of facing common problems in their modernization, they are willing to learn from each other and boost cooperation in various fields.
China-Latin America cooperation is an inalienable part of South-South cooperation, and both sides have understood and supported each other on a variety of issues on the world platform.
Both sides have kept frequent high-level exchanges to improve collaboration and cooperation in various fields.
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Brazil in April 2010. He visited Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru in November 2008.
Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming visited Argentina and Brazil last month to improve bilateral trade and investment.
Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff paid a trip to China in April this year, while Chilean President Sebastian Pinera visited China last November.
In the economic field, China-Latin America trade amounted to 180 billion dollars in 2010, a 50-percent increase year on year.
China’s direct investment in Latin America reached 15 billion dollars in 2010, and China became Latin America’s third biggest investment source country, according to a report issued last month by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
China and Latin America are also complementary in their exports. China mainly exports to Latin America manufactured products such as computers, telecommunication equipment, clothes, shoes, electronic products, motor bikes and motors, while the main exports from Latin America to China are raw materials including iron, copper, stannum, tungsten, aluminum, and so on. Both sides benefit a lot from their mutual trade.
However, some Western media twist the truth, smear beneficial China-Latin America cooperation, and even claim China is imposing neocolonialism on Latin America.
For example, The New York Times on May 26 issued an article entitled China’s Farming Pursuits Make Brazil Uneasy, which said “even as Brazil, Argentina and other nations move to impose limits on farmland purchases by foreigners, the Chinese are seeking to more directly control production (in the countries) themselves.”
The article went so far as to say “the (China-Latin America) partnership has devolved into a classic neocolonial relationship in which China has the upper hand.”
The claim obviously is calling black white, as it utterly ignores the voluntary and mutually beneficial nature of China-Latin America relations.
The Chinese and Latin American peoples have benefited greatly from bilateral cooperation, and any slandering and smearing can’t harm their friendly ties.
by Yu Zhixiao