BEIJING – China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday the growing cooperation between his country and Latin America is based on mutual aid and support and was not an attempt to counter the influence of the United States in the region.
China’s presence in the region has grown rapidly because it was able to address and meet the needs of the people, improve lives and boost the region’s capacity for self-driven growth, Wang had said at a press conference on the sidelines of China’s 13th National People’s Congress.
“China and Latin America and the Caribbean countries are helping and supporting each other as developing country partners,” Wang said.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after a ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC in Chile in January, had claimed China’s growing interest in Latin America was based on an imperialist agenda and aimed at personal gain.
“Our cooperation doesn’t target or seek to replace anyone. China is not going to move anyone’s cheese,” the Chinese FM said, responding to Tillerson’s accusations.
Wang also stressed that, in the last five years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has traveled to the region three times, visiting a total of 10 countries, which deepened cooperation.
According to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, trade between China and Latin America grew 22 times between 2000-2013 and reached $266 billion last year.
China has provided more than $141 billion in loan commitments to Latin American and Caribbean countries in the last decade, a sum greater than that provided by the Inter-American Development Bank and The World Bank.