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Senior CPC official's visit to Colombia will deepen ties: Chinese ambassador

(Xinhua)

12:37, April 21, 2012

BOGOTA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming visit by Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will help deepen China-Colombia relations, Chinese Ambassador Wang Xiaoyuan has said.

Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, is expected to arrive in Colombia on Sunday for a two-day official visit.

During his stay in Colombia, he will meet President Juan Manuel Santos, Congress leader Juan Manuel Corzo, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, and leaders of the ruling coalition in Colombia.

The two countries will sign a series of accords in the areas of economy and trade and culture, Ambassador Wang told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 32 years ago, bilateral relations have witnessed smooth development, he said.

Close contacts between leaders of the two countries have strengthened political mutual trust and laid a solid political foundation for the development of bilateral ties, Wang said.

He added that the two countries had conducted close coordination and collaboration on world affairs such as UN reform and climate change and had jointly defended the interests of developing countries.

In 2011, trade between China and Colombia reached 8.23 billion U.S. dollars, a growth of 39 percent year on year. China has become Colombia's second largest trading partner, said the ambassador.

Cultural exchanges have also made headway, he said. With strengthened exchanges between the two countries in the educational field, "China Fever" and "Chinese-language Fever" have continued to simmer in Colombia, he said.

To meet Colombian students' eagerness to learn Chinese and understand Chinese culture, the two countries have jointly opened two Confucius Institutes and one Confucius class, and will set up another Confucius Institute in the near future, Wang said.

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