BEIJING – Peru’s Vice President Mercedez Araoz and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Qishan, marked on Monday the 170th anniversary of the first arrival of Chinese immigrants to the South American country.
“We are very happy as this is a special year, as the People’s Republic of China completes 70 years of its foundation and it also marks 170 years since the first Chinese immigration to Peru,” said Araoz, who met Wang in Bejing’s Zhongnanhai compound, the headquarters of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.
Araoz also narrated a personal story about how her grandfather had married a Chinese immigrant for his second marriage.
Wang said ties between Beijing and Lima had developed smoothly in recent years and bilateral cooperation had reached high levels.
The Chinese vice president asked Araoz to convey President Xi Jinping’s greetings to his Peruvian counterpart Martin Vizcarra.
Wang also praised Araoz as an expert on China and a friend of the Chinese people, complimenting her for her “great contribution” to friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
He listed important activities of the International Potato Center – a Lima-based organization – during the International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing, where a pavilion was built imitating the Incan terraces in Peru’s Moray.
On Sunday, Araoz participated in the exhibition and commented on potato’s important contributions for global food security.
Peru’s diplomatic mission in Beijing highlighted the potato link between the two countries.
“Today, China is the world’s largest producer of potatoes, and potatoes originated in the high Andes mountains of Peru,” the mission said.
However, Peru is not just promoting potatoes during the vice president’s visit, but is also seeking to highlight products such as quinoa and maca root.
Araoz said the two products were called “superfoods” because of their agricultural and nutritional benefits, and had become increasingly popular among Chinese consumers.
The Peruvian vice president arrived in Beijing on Saturday and is set to fly back on Monday night after meeting Wang and attending various events.