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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:03, November 26, 2004
Chinese FM says president's Latin America tour fruitful
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Chinese President Hu Jintao's just-concluded four-nation Latin American tour, during which he also attended the 12th APEC leaders meeting, was very successful and met the desired targets, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Thursday.

The tour, which lasted from Nov. 11 to Nov. 23, was Hu's first visit to Latin America as Chinese president and has imparted new vigor to traditional China-Latin America relations in terms of political cooperation, trade and goals for future bilateral ties, said Li, who accompanied Hu on the tour.

During his tour, Hu talked with leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba and other Asia-Pacific nations and regions, and exchanged views with them on strengthening relations, Li said.

The visit has contributed to deepening mutual political trust between China and the four Latin American countries and broadened cooperation, said Li.

-- In Brazil, Hu and Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva agreed to deepen the strategic partnership between their two countries;

-- In Argentina, Hu and his counterpart Nestor Kirchner decided to establish and develop a strategic partnership between their two countries;

-- In Chile, Hu and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar pledged to boost the all-around cooperative partnership between their two countries;

-- In Cuba, Hu and Cuban leader Fidel Castro vowed to expand traditional China-Cuba friendly cooperation.

Li also noted that Hu's visit has boosted economic cooperation between China and the four Latin American nations and laid a solid foundation for further development in bilateral ties.

During Hu's visit, China and the four nations signed 39 documents on cooperation in trade, investment, space industry, tourism and education, said Li.

Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru have recognized China's status as a market economy and China and Chile have decided to open talks on a free trade agreement (FTA).

In his speeches made on various occasions during the tour, Hu painted a blueprint for the development of China-Latin American relations, saying that the two sides should seize the opportunity to promote cooperation in the 21st century.

At the 12th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Hu put forward new proposals for the development of Asia-Pacific regional cooperation, urging more efforts to boost investment and economic and technological cooperation. He also pledged support for international collective actions against terrorism to secure a peaceful environment.

On multilateral occasions, Hu launched frequent high-level diplomacy, while at bilateral ones, he met with people from all walks of life and made many close friends, Li said.

He said China has won the international community's understanding and support by elaborating on its domestic and foreign policies initiatively.

During his four-nation tour and attendance at the APEC leaders' meeting, Hu gave a comprehensive introduction of China's socio-economic development, and explained China's goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way and the scientific concept of development, the foreign minister said.

Hu's speeches indicated that China's economy will continue growing in a rapid and healthy way, and that its development has brought great opportunities for the whole world, he said.

As for the serious situation across the Taiwan Straits, Hu reiterated that "Taiwan independence" will ruin peace across the straits, and that the Taiwanese authorities' adventurous activities of separatism posed the biggest threat to peace and stability across the straits and in the Asia-Pacific region.

The president declared the Chinese government and people's strong determination of safeguarding the nation's territorial integrity, he said.

All leaders of relevant countries reiterated their adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to "Taiwan independence." China's cause of national reunification and the basic principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" have won support of the great majority around the world, Li added.

While attending the two-day APEC meeting, Hu held bilateral talks with state or government leaders of 13 APEC members separately, and exchanged views with relevant countries on cooperation in various fields, Li said.

The consensus reached between China and those countries will definitely have an important impact on their bilateral relations, he said.

The foreign minister concluded that Hu's tour of Latin America has achieved the desired goals of widening consensus, strengthening mutual understanding, expanding cooperation and promoting common development.

"It is a fruitful, substantial and successful visit," Li noted.

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