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Xi Jinping Visit To Open a ‘New Area’ of Cooperation with Ibero-America

Nov. 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—There is great anticipation and excitement about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, Nov. 17-23, which both Chinese and Ibero-American analysts and diplomats say will usher in a "new era" in bilateral relations and expanded cooperation in a number of areas. As Ecuador’s El Comercio noted yesterday, China is especially interested in increasing its investment in industry.

In a press conference today, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Chao stressed that Xi’s trip will strengthen

"comprehensive strategic association with South America, so that together the two regions can jointly deal with their common challenges, promote common development and build a community of shared destiny."

Xi will begin his tour on Nov. 17 with a state visit to Ecuador, which President Rafael Correa has said will be "the most important visit of any head of state in the history of Ecuador." He will then will proceed to Peru, where he will have a state visit with President Pedro Pablo Kuczyinski and attend the Nov. 19-20 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, and then on to Chile for a state visit with President Michelle Bachelet. He is expected to sign a number of economic cooperation deals in all three countries.

Ecuador’s ambassador to China, José María Borja, underscored in remarks to Xinhua that Xi Jinping’s visit to his country is a historic one. But, he added, China’s Belt and Road Initiative "will bring great opportunities for Latin American nations to build trade and economic ties with Central Asia," Global Times reported on Nov. 10. Also speaking to Xinhua, Peruvian analyst Miguel Rodriguez emphasized that Xi’s trip

"reflects the relevance China gives its ties to Latin America. Our region is a priority for China. The Chinese act with blistering speed, knowing that time counts in international relations. China knows how to win over the world."

He added, that China "sees all Latin American countries as important." As for Latin Amereica, beyond commercial ties, "the region is also interested in Chinese technology in order to spur development and industrialization."

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong, during his trip, including at the APEC summit, Xi Jinping will seek support for his government’s proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, now considered particularly viable, given that Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership has ceased to exist.

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