SANTIAGO – Chilean President Sebastian Piñera met this Saturday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for talks on strengthening bilateral ties, free trade and multilateral accords, official sources reported.
Boosting free trade also comes amid the US-China trade war and the need to strengthen the World Trade Organization, the sources said after the meeting at La Moneda Palace, seat of the Chilean presidency.
During the meeting, China said it will collaborate with Chile in the organization of the next summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), to be held next November and December, respectively, in the South American nation.
The Chilean president also spoke of his concern about the regional impact of the crisis in Venezuela, and asked for China’s help in finding a solution.
Wang Yi’s visit to Chile is related to the celebration in 2020 of the 50th anniversary of the “very deep, fruitful” diplomatic relations between the two countries, and in that context, both countries committed to continue developing those ties and to strengthen their cooperation.
Piñera also expressed the importance of increasing the exchange of goods, services and investments, and recalled that Chile is soon to call for bids on the construction of a fiber-optic connection between the American continent and Asia and to implement fifth generation cellular technology (5G).
The president said in that regard that Chile will call for bids on those projects in a public, transparent way, inviting companies of all countries to take part.
Three months ago Piñera visited China, where he signed a strategic collaboration accord in science, innovation and technology with the city of Shenzhen, which, as he said this Saturday, is concrete evidence of the mutual collaboration between the two countries.
On that tour, Piñera met with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the head of the National Popular Assembly, Li Zhanshu.
He also had meetings with leaders of some 10 technology companies specializing in innovation, artificial intelligence, robots, telecommunications and cloud services, and signed with local authorities the 2019-2022 Action Plan, which establishes a number of priority work areas: the environment, education, investment, infrastructure and energy, among others.
In 1970, Chile was the first South American country to establish diplomatic relations with China, which is currently its main trade partner with 27.8 percent of its total foreign trade.