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Home >> China
UPDATED: 10:26, October 06, 2006
China, Latin America forge closer links for win-win end (4)
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China's deepening political and economic involvement in the region has raised concern in the United States, which regards the region as its "backyard" though many local people don't think so.

"The United States might worry that a 'Chinese dragon' will threaten its economy and security by entering the so-called 'backyard', which is absolutely unnecessary," Jiang with the CASS said.

Latin America is adopting an open policy towards other countries and China is only one of the region's new partners. Meanwhile, the mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two sides, which both belong to the third world, will only contribute to world peace and prosperity and promote the South-South Cooperation, he noted.

Even though, to avoid misunderstanding and facilitate the China-U.S.-Latin America triangle cooperation, China has launched consultation on Latin American affairs with the United States.

"We will try our best to develop relations with every country in the region, which is very important to China in every aspect," said a senior diplomat with the Chinese Foreign Ministry who asked not to be identified.

Ways for future

Though jumbo jets help shorten travel time greatly compared with the alleged journey of Zheng He back in the Ming Dynasty, the time of flight from Beijing to Latin American cities still doubles that between China and the United States, or at least 20 hours. Maritime transportation will even take more than a month.

"Most Latin Americans do not know much about China, neither do the Chinese have a clear vision of the region on the other side of the Pacific. Most Chinese may know the names of Latin American football stars very well, but have little impression about those stars' homeland," Jiang said.

Then, how to ensure the booming ties between China and Latin America have a bright and sustainable future? Maybe a 23-year-aged Argentine university student Pablo Morales has given an answer.

"I'm interested in Chinese culture and the way of thinking of the Chinese people," said the young guy who gave himself a Chinese name Lin Yuhan. Morales started his Chinese study two years ago along with 30 classmates in a private language school in Mendoza.

"I learned Chinese to study international relations and media organization. I hope to find a job of journalism in China after graduation," said Morales, now a grade-five student in the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, when he came to Beijing to attend a three-day international contest known as the "Chinese Language Bridge".

In a bid to help foreigners like Morales learn the Chinese language and culture better and promote long-term friendship with the rest of the world, China kicked off in 2004 a project to establish the so-called Confucius Institutes overseas. Such institutes are named after the prestigious ancient Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius. The first Confucius Institute in Latin America was founded in Mexico.

Another way proven effective is to develop tourism and increase cultural exchange, which will help peoples on both sides to know more about each other's life, history and culture.

In a six-month-long exhibition hosted in the National Museum by the Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing, 248 pieces of rare ancient relics from Peru were put on display, attracting many Chinese visitors.

As the guest country of a month-long art festival in Beijing, Mexico also sent a large delegation to the "Meet in Beijing" carnival this May, which involved music and dance performances, movie show, and architecture and handicrafts exhibitions.

In a bid to promote tourism, China has inked tourism agreements with Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Peru since 2003, which will facilitate Chinese tourists to visit the far-away continent.

"Thanks to the cultural links, many Peruvians now will say 'Chifan', the Chinese term for 'let's have a meal', instead of Spanish in local Chinese restaurants," said Peruvian Ambassador to China Luis Chang.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This feature story is provided by China Features, the sole news service on the Chinese mainland offering by-lined feature stories, news analyses and opinion pieces in English, along with photos, about latest major events in China. Media organizations which want to commission China Features writers to do reports on China can send emails to [email protected] or fax your requests to 86-10-63073673.)

Source: Xinhua

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