BEIJING – Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez embarked Monday on a state visit to China as he joined his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao for the signing of nine bilateral accords.
Their promotion of economic and trade cooperation was signed into concrete agreements on trade, investment and its promotion, technical assistance with credits, acknowledgment of the market economy, water resources, sports, science and technology, and a pact between China’s CCTV and Uruguay National Television.
“You have done a great deal for relations between the Chinese and Uruguayan people and we much appreciate it. You are an old friend of China since you came here as president of the Broad Front, and it’s a great pleasure to meet with you today,” Hu told Vazquez in Beijing.
The Uruguayan president replied that “this visit is of fundamental importance and has deep political meaning. Twenty-one years of relations is more than enough time for us to try and create a truly excellent relationship.”
The presidents, each accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, met for an hour before signing the accords.
Previously they and their respective delegations attended the official welcoming ceremony in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square.
“I also express my sincere gratitude to the Uruguayan people for their help with the drinking-water plant for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008 and their contribution to the Olympic Games and Special Olympics in Beijing,” Hu said.
China’s top leader expressed his readiness to “exchange points of view on important matters of the bilateral and international agenda” with Vazquez on his visit to China, which will conclude Thursday in Shanghai, the Asian nation’s business capital.
The Uruguayan took advantage of the weekend to overcome the jet lag produced by “coming from so far” and to visit such sites as the
Great Wall and the Forbidden City, Hu said Monday.
On Tuesday, Vazquez will address the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade to present Uruguay as a democratic nation and a secure market for investment and business.
Both the visiting president and his ministers have a crowded work schedule on Tuesday as they meet with Chinese businessmen of different sectors, from telecommunications to energy. EFE