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Xi's Latin American tour to enhance cooperation: spokesman


08:48, May 22, 2013

BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- China will take the opportunity of President Xi Jinping's upcoming visits to three Latin American nations to further increase political trust and consolidate friendship with them, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

Hong Lei's comments at a press briefing came after Qin Gang, also a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, announced earlier Tuesday that Xi will pay state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico from May 31 to June 6.

Hong said Xi's visits will also strengthen friendly cooperation with the whole Latin American area.

He said it will be Xi's first state visits to Latin America, and the first trip of a Chinese president to Trinidad and Tobago, also the English-speaking Latin American region. Trinidad and Tobago is an important country in the English-speaking Latin American region, as well as China's major partner of cooperation in that area.

As the only country having diplomatic relations with China in Central America, Costa Rica has maintained friendly cooperation with the Chinese side, Hong said.

Mexico is a significant emerging economy, which has built up a strategic cooperative partnership with China, Hong noted.

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Mexico and Costa Rica earlier this month.

When asked whether it is a coincidence or that the two powers are competing with each other in Latin America, Hong said China and the United States can cooperate for better development of Latin American nations.

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