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Wang Yi Talks about China's Firm Supports for Chile in Four Aspects

2019-07-29

On July 28, 2019 local time, while jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera of Chile in Santiago, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the Chinese side's advice and suggestions on further advancing China-Chile cooperation and summarized them as "firm supports in four aspects".

The first is the firm support for Chile hosting the 2019 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in November this year. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of APEC. Facing the current complicated international landscape, particularly the rise of trade protectionism, the meeting in Santiago is of extremely critical significance. The Chinese side hopes and believes that the meeting will send out the clear message of supporting free trade and building an open world economy.

The second is the firm support for Chile in ensuring the success of the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Chile's decision of hosting the conference at the end of the year shows its constructive attitude of shouldering international responsibilities, conforms to the trend of the times of jointly coping with global challenges, and showcases its adherence to and advocacy of multilateralism. The Chinese side will send a high-level delegation to the conference, work closely with the Chilean side and play a constructive role in the success of the conference, joining the hands to cope with global challenges.

The third is the firm support for Chile in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. In April this year, President Sebastian Pinera traveled to Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on behalf of Chile and he made important contributions to the success of the Forum. The forum started a new journey of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality. It also opened up new and broad space for China-Chile cooperation. The Chinese side is willing to intensify trade and investment cooperation with the Chilean side to steadily release the benefits of the upgrading of free trade agreement and supports Chinese enterprises, in line with market rules, to participate in major interconnectivity projects in Chile and the region as well. China is willing to forge new growth points including scientific and technological innovation and digital economy to make Chile a crucial hub connecting the two oceans and two continents along the Belt and Road.

The fourth is the firm support for Chile in playing a greater role in regional cooperation. As an important country in Latin America, Chile plays a significant role in regional organizations such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Pacific Alliance. This month, Chile has taken the rotating chair of the Pacific Alliance. The Chinese side supports Chile and other countries in the region working together to propel regional integration and to safeguard regional peace, stability and development. Chile is also the first among Latin American countries to host the ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC Forum. The Chinese side is willing to, together with the Chilean side, drive China-Latin America cooperation for steady progress, so as to input new epochal connotation into the China-Latin America community with a shared future.

Wang Yi noted, China and Chile will soon celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship. Over the past 50 years, bilateral relations have always maintained rapid development amid the volatile international landscape and created many "firsts". Chile is the first South American country to establish diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of China, the first country in the western hemisphere to sign a bilateral agreement with China on its accession to the World Trade Organization, the first country to recognize China as a full market economy and the first country to sign with China a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and upgrade the FTA. Now, Chile has become China's largest source of imported salmon, the second largest source of fresh fruits and the third largest of imported wine. Time has proven that China and Chile are trustworthy friends and partners of win-win cooperation.

Wang Yi said, Santiago is one of the farthest capitals from Beijing in the world, but it feels like Chile is very close, as if we are neighbors facing each other across the sea. As an ancient Chinese poem goes, "If you have a friend afar who knows your heart, distance cannot keep you two apart." This poem aptly describes the state of China-Chile relations. China is willing to work with the Chilean side to always be the true friends sharing the same ideals, as well as the neighbours of win-win cooperation.

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