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  HOME | Latin America (Click here for more)

China Seeks New Ties with Latin America and the Caribbean

BEIJING - An extensive policy paper detailing China's political, economic and trade strategy with Latin America and the Caribbean, which was released on Thursday, shows Beijing is seeking to build new relations with the region following President Xi Jinping's tour of Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

It is the second document drafted by China mapping out its ties with Latin America and the Caribbean, after the first one was released in 2008, official news agency Xinhua reported.

The paper says the world's second-largest economy is committed to building a new relationship with the region based on "sincerity and mutual trust in the political field, win-win cooperation on the economic front, mutual learning in culture, close coordination in international affairs".

It says this will enable their relations to reach new heights, while claiming "it does not target or exclude any third party," in a veiled reference to the United States, whose President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP).

In the face of a possible US withdrawal from the TPP - which includes 12 Pacific rim nations but not China - Beijing has been quick to model itself as a promoter of free trade in the Asia-Pacific by proposing alternatives.

The policy paper emphasizes China's will promote trade in specialized goods and highlights its interest in developing new free trade agreements.

Beijing is backing two big trade initiatives for the Asia-Pacific region, one being the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade zone comprising the 10 member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with Australia, South Korea, India, Japan, New Zealand, as well as China.

It also supports the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which would bring together 21 APEC economies.

China has also spoken of boosting investment in the industrial and financial sectors and strengthening cooperation in power, agriculture, and science and technology.

In addition to being more in tune with Latin American countries' demands - for most of whom China is the principal or second-largest trading partner - the model of cooperation also includes provisions for political, cultural and judicial ties.

The paper also bets on increasing coordination between China and the region in international affairs, and in climate change action by promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

 

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