Chinese vice president arrives in Chilean capital for visit

16:02, June 09, 2011      

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R, front) is welcomed by Chilean Acting Foreign Minister Fernando Schmidt upon his arrival in Santiago, Chile, June 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Santiago, capital of Chile, early Thursday morning for an official visit to the South American nation at the invitation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

In a written statement delivered at the airport, Xi noted that Chile was the first South American country that established diplomatic ties with China.

During the past 41 years since the bilateral diplomatic relations were forged in 1970, Sino-Chilean ties had witnessed continuous growth. The two countries have kept high-level exchanges and scored tangible results in all-round pragmatic cooperation, he said.

China and Chile established a comprehensive cooperative partnership in 2004. Chilean President Pinera paid a successful state visit to China last November, during which he reached important consensus with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"The mission of my visit is to expand consensus, increase friendship and deepen cooperation for common development," Xi said.

Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Pinera and meet with other Chilean leaders for an exchange of views on issues of mutual concern.

China is now Chile's biggest trading partner. Two-way trade volume reached 24.75 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, with a year-on-year increase of 42.6 percent.

Chile is the last leg of Xi's four-nation tour, which has already taken him to Italy, Cuba and Uruguay.

Source: Xinhua
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