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News Analysis: Xi's Mexico visit to lift bilateral relations

By Pan Guojun (Xinhua)

20:10, June 03, 2013

MEXICO CITY, June 3 (Xinhua) -- As Chinese President Xi Jinping travels to Mexico on Tuesday for a state visit, officials and experts here say the trip will further boost the development of the two countries' strategic partnership.

Both China and Mexico are major developing countries and emerging-market economies, and their relations have developed steadily since they established diplomatic ties 41 years ago.

Since the two countries forged a strategic partnership in 2003, their leaders have met around 20 times on bilateral and multilateral occasions, which has markedly cemented mutual political trust.

Meanwhile, mutually beneficial cooperation has been deepened, cultural exchanges expanded and coordination on regional and global affairs strengthened.

China now is Mexico's second-largest trading partner, while the latter is China's second-largest in Latin America. Two-way trade jumped from about 5 billion U.S. dollars in 2003 to more than 36 billion in 2012.

When hosting President Enrique Pena Nieto in April in the Chinese resort city of Sanya, Xi said China-Mexico relations are at an important development stage thanks to their respective economic traits and solid grounds for cooperation.

In an interview with Xinhua shortly after being elected Mexican president last year, Pena Nieto said his government treats it as a foreign policy priority to promote ties with China and stands ready to work with China to boost bilateral cooperation.

Ulises Granados, a professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, noted that the two countries have huge potential in mutual investment as the Mexican government has vowed repeatedly to promote infrastructure construction to drive the country's overall economic development.

The Mexican and Chinese business communities should not see each other as competitors, but use their respective advantages to pursue win-win cooperation, said Teofilo Torres Corzo, head of the Mexican Senate's foreign affairs committee for the Asia-Pacific.

He added that the two nations also have great potential in agricultural cooperation, as Mexico has rich agricultural resources and the Chinese market has a great demand for agricultural products.

At the same time, the two countries should deepen mutual understanding by carrying out more exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, and science and technology, said Juvencio Wing Shum, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Five Confucius Institutes have been established in Mexico, providing a platform for young Mexicans to learn Chinese language and know more about Chinese culture, the scholar noted.

The upcoming meeting between Xi and Pena Nieto, Mexican analysts and scholars say, will chart the course for future cooperation between China and Mexico, respectively the world's and Latin America's second-largest economy.

China's ambassador to Mexico, Zeng Gang, told Xinhua that the visit will further lift bilateral ties and help promote China's relations and cooperation with the entire Latin America.

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