Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of China
At China-Latin American and Caribbean Countries Leaders1 Meeting
Brasilia, 17 July 2014
President Dilma Rousseff,
President Luis Guillermo Solis,
Good afternoon. I am so pleased to meet you all here to discuss the development of China-Latin America and Caribbean relations. I want to thank President Rousseff for her warm remarks. It's really a great joy to see so many old and new friends in Latin America and the Caribbean. This afternoon belongs to China and Latin American and Caribbean relations. The fact that the leaders of China and so many Latin American and Caribbean countries are gathering here is in itself of historic and global significance.
I wish to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, sincere greetings and best wishes to you and, through you, to the people of Latin American and Caribbean countries.
I took office as the Chinese President over one year ago, this is the second time for me to visit relatives and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean and attend the first ever China-Latin American and Caribbean Countries Leaders' Meeting. China has proposed this meeting because we want to enhance dialogue, build consensus and boost the growth of China-Latin American and Caribbean relations from the top level. This not only serves our immediate and long-term interests but also contributes to South-South cooperation.
I want to thank President Rousseff and the Brazilian government for attaching high importance to and making meticulous preparations for this important meeting while they played host to the FIFA World Cup and the BRICS Summit. I appreciate the coordination efforts made by the extended "Troika" of CELAC before this meeting, and I thank all of you for traveling here to attend the meeting. This fully reflects your support for strengthening China-Latin America and Caribbean relations and advancing our overall cooperation.
As an old Chinese saying goes, "Nothing can separate people with common goals and ideals, not even mountains and seas." Although China and Latin America and the Caribbean are far apart geographically, there is a natural feeling of affinity between our peoples. The relationship between China and Latin America and the Caribbean has come a long way since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Thanks to generations of concerted efforts by both sides, it has made solid and steady progress for the last 60 years and more. In the new century, this relationship has shown a sound momentum of comprehensive and fast growth. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008 in particular, China and Latin America and the Caribbean have, building on their respective strengths, forged close unity in overcoming the difficult period and achieved a quantum leap in their relations.
At present, the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean are best ever in history and standing at a new starting point. The two sides are now faced with better opportunities, foundation and conditions to deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation in all respects. We have every reason to achieve greater progress in growing this relationship.
Here, I wish to propose that we jointly announce at this meeting the establishment of a comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development between China and Latin America and the Caribbean, and work together to build a five-dimensional relationship characterized by sincerity and mutual trust in the political field, win-win cooperation on the economic front,mutual learning and emulation in the cultural sphere, close coordination in international affairs, as well as synergy between China's cooperation with the region as a whole and its bilateral relations with individual regional countries. To this end, I wish to make a five-point proposal.
First, we should always treat each other as equals and support each other with sincerity. The path we take determines our future. China and Latin American and Caribbean countries should firmly support each other in following the path of development suited to their national conditions, strengthen the sharing of governance experience and deepen strategic mutual trust. The two sides should continue to give each other understanding and support on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, stability and development. China reaffirms that it supports Latin America and the Caribbean in promoting regional integration, building strength through unity, and playing a bigger role in regional and global affairs.
Second, we should deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and work for common development. The strong complementarity in the economic structure and development strategy of China and Latin America and the Caribbean provide the natural advantage for enhancing cooperation between the two sides. China proposes that the two sides work together to develop a "1+3+6" cooperation framework to promote faster, broader and deeper cooperation between the two sides for real results.
The number "1",means one plan. The two sides should develop the Sino-Latin American and Caribbean Cooperation Plan (2015-2019) with the aim of achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development and align our respective development strategies.
The number "3" means "three engines". Trade,investment and financial cooperation should be the driving force for all-round development of practical cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean. The two sides should leverage the important role of trade in driving economic growth, improve the trade mix, promote the export of traditionally competitive products and high value-added products of Latin American and Caribbean countries to China, expand cooperation in trade in services, e-commerce and other fields, and work toward the goal of US$500 billion of two-way trade between us in the next ten years.
The two sides should expand mutual investment, promote the diversification of investment, and channel more capital into production sectors. The Chinese government will encourage and support more Chinese companies to invest in Latin America and the Caribbean, and strive to increase its stock of investment in the region to US$250 billion in the coming decade.
The two sides should enhance financial cooperation, support closer coordination and cooperation between their central banks, expand the use of local currency in settling bilateral trade and the scale of local currency swap, and encourage the banks of the two sides to set up branches in each other's country.
The number "6" means "six areas". We should focus our cooperation in the six areas of energy and resources,infrastructure building, agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation, and information technologies, connect the industrial sectors of the two sides, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.
To facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation in these areas, I am delighted to announce that China will formally launch the US$10 billion special loan for infrastructure projects and will, on this basis, further increase the credit line to US$20 billion; provide US$10 billion preferential loan to Latin American and Caribbean countries; and launch the Fund for China-Latin America and the Caribbean Cooperation and pledge a contribution of US$5 billion, which is primarily for cooperation in energy and resources, agriculture, manufacturing, hi-tech, sustainable development and other areas. China will also formally launch US$50 million special fund for agricultural cooperation, introduce the "Science & Technology Partnership" and the "Young Scientists Exchange Program" and hold the first scientific and technological innovation forum in due course.
Third, we should promote exchanges and mutual learning to consolidate the basis for lasting friendship. State-to-state relationship is underpinned by people-to-people amity. China welcomes more exchanges between governments, legislative bodies, political parties and localities, and closer cooperation in education, culture, sports, media and tourism. China is also ready to hold inter-civilization dialogue to help our people better appreciate each other's culture and form a strong bond so that there will be greater popular support for a strong bilateral relationship in the long run.
With this in mind, I want to announce here that in the coming five years, China will provide 6,000 government scholarships for Latin American and Caribbean countries, invite 6,000 people to undertake training courses in China and 400 people to pursue in-service master programs in China and invite 1,000 leaders of political parties to visit China. China also plans to launch in 2015 "Bridge for the Future",a training program that will involve 1,000 young leaders from China, Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition,China would like to propose that 2016 be designated the "Year of Cultural Exchanges" between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fourth, we should strengthen international coordination to safeguard common rights and interests. Enhanced coordination and cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean in global affairs will be of great significance for international relations to be more democratic and for the international order to be more just and fair.
China stands ready to work with Latin America and the Caribbean in the United Nations, World Trade Organization, APEC, G20, G77 and other international and multilateral mechanisms to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, through better coordination and cooperation on global and hotspot issues such as global governance, sustainable development, climate change and cyber security. China is willing to increase dialogue and cooperation with you regarding regional affairs in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean regions and jointly contribute to peace and prosperity of both regions.
Fifth, we should advance overall cooperation to strengthen bilateral ties. It has been our shared aspiration to have closer overall cooperation between the two regions. The second CELAC summit held last January adopted the Special Declaration on the Establishment of the China-CELAC Forum,which has laid down the important groundwork for the establishment of the forum and advancement of our overall cooperation. At this meeting, we will jointly announce the official establishment of the China-CELAC Forum and the decision to hold the inaugural ministerial meeting in Beijing as early as possible. This will have profound implication for our future relationship and send out a strong signal of our commitment to strengthening unity and coordination and promoting South-South cooperation.
China looks forward to fully leveraging this platform to carry out collective dialogue on the political, economic, trade, people-to-people, social and foreign policy issues, be innovative in the form of cooperation, tap the potentials and enhance cooperation in breadth and depth so that we could complement one another and achieve common development.
Within the framework of the forum, China looks forward to increasing dialogue and cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations and ensuring the success of China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, thus creating a comprehensive and well-designed network for overall cooperation.
The Chinese people are now striving to realize the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The people of Latin American and Caribbean countries are also working toward the Latin American dream of unity, coordination, development and rejuvenation. The shared dream and pursuit have brought us closely together. Let us seize the opportunities presented to us and work together to blaze new trails in building a community of shared destiny for common progress and usher in a bright future for the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.