Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Wang Yi Tells China-CELAC: BRI Cooperation Is a ‘Golden Key To Unlock a Brighter Future’

Jan. 25, 2018 (EIRNS)—In his opening speech to the Second Ministerial Summit of the China-CELAC Forum, held in Santiago, Chile on Jan. 22, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out an exciting perspective for the future of relations between these two regions of the world: China, and the Latin American and Caribbean Countries (LAC), the latter grouped in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The speech, entitled "Join Hands Across the Ocean in a New Era," describes, among other things, the essential points of the final 2019-2021 Action Plan, whose text is not yet available. He emphasizes that

"China stands ready to share in the development dividends with all other countries and achieve common prosperity together with fellow developing countries.... The consensus we will reach on Belt and Road cooperation at this meeting will be reflected in a special declaration.... As we see it, China and LAC countries are well placed to take full advantage of the BRI."

The mission of China's diplomacy, he said,

"is to work with all other countries to forge a new form of international relations, featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.... The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is aimed at providing the world with public goods.... Geopolitical contest or zero-sum game is neither our purpose nor our practice. We invite all countries, big and small, to discuss the BRI as equals...." [emphasis added]

Wang outlined five key areas that will be the basis of cooperation between China and the LAC countries, emphasizing that

"Belt and Road cooperation will be a 'golden key' that unlocks a brighter future for both sides.... I think it would be appropriate to compare China-LAC cooperation to a fruit tree. If we can nourish it with Belt and Road cooperation, it will be more exuberant and bear more fruit, both bilaterally and collectively...."

The five areas are:

  1. building a transportation network connecting lands and oceans, emphasizing China's support "in building the bioceanic railway and bioceanic tunnels, and open more sea routes and direct air links.... China also stands ready to conclude Belt and Road agreements with more LAC countries, and launch more Belt and Road projects with a view to reaping an 'early harvest.'"

  2. Fostering a large market that is open and beneficial to both sides.

  3. Developing competitive and sovereign home-grown industries, based on the most advanced technologies. "China has the equipment, technology, funding and training opportunities you need. Our two sides may speed up industrial cooperation, work to build logistics ... and explore establishment of a consortium of development financial institutions, and build more industrial parks and special economic zones...."

  4. Seize the opportunity of innovation-driven growth. Enhance coordination between the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan and development strategies of LAC countries, and build a China-LAC online Silk Road and a digital Silk Road. Both sides "may advance cooperation in the emerging areas such as aerospace and aviation.... China is ready to help train more researchers from LAC countries through the China-LAC Science and Technology Partnership and the China-LAC Young Scientists Exchange Program."

  5. Extensive exchanges, especially in cultural and people-to-people areas. "China is ready to share more governance experience with LAC countries, enhance... exchanges between our political parties" and other national organizations of media, youth, etc. as well as establish more culture centers in each other's countries and more Confucius Institutes in LAC countries "to deepen mutual understanding and friendship."

Wang concluded: "As a Chinese poem reads, 'True friends value their promises to each other and will travel a thousand miles to be together.' Let us make this meeting a new starting point in our relations, seize the opportunity offered by the Belt and Road Initiative, and join hands across the ocean to open a splendid new era of China-LAC relations."

Wang's remarks are posted to China's Foreign Ministry website and also to the website of China's Embassy to the United States.

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