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Interview: High-level contacts push forward Mexico-China ties, Mexican senator says

By Epifanio Cortes Cedillo (Xinhua)

18:17, June 04, 2013

MEXICO CITY, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The Mexico-China relationship has been pushed forward by increasingly frequent dialogues and contacts at the highest levels, a senior Mexican senator says.

Daniel Avila, a member of Mexico's Senate Special Committee for the Asia-Pacific, spoke with Xinhua in an exclusive interview ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Mexico.

Avila said Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's visit to China in April was a testament to the close ties between the two countries.

When the two presidents met for the first time in April, they both expressed their interest and intentions to deepen bilateral ties through specific measures, Avila said.

The two presidents also agreed to build the Mexico-China relationship on a basis of boosting dialogue and strengthening mutual trust, he added.

"We are sure this visit will allow us to follow up and flesh out these commitments, and it will be a propitious occasion to decide what actions should be taken to make progress in our common interest and to promote our relationship," Avila said.

Since the establishment of a strategic partnership in 2003, both nations have made efforts in the fight against trade piracy and in recognizing Mexico as an "authorized tourism destination."

The two countries have signed several cooperation accords, including those in the areas of air and maritime transportation, mining, and investment, that have demonstrated the vitality of the two nations' relationship, Avila said.

"It is based on these grounds that I point out bilateral ties are very good ... and they can be better," said Avila, a proponent of the need to view China as a potential partner instead of a competitor.

Since the start of Pena Nieto's term, Avila said, Mexico and China have ratified their commitment to strengthening political, economic and cultural ties, and cooperation in education, and science and technology, through a multi-sector agenda of measures and goals.

On the prospect of bilateral ties in the near future, Avila said "the outlook is very good, if we are able to go beyond the trade and economic realms of our relationship."

For the relationship to thrive, he said, the two nations need to strengthen their ties in a range of other areas.

He pointed to the recent approval by the Senate of an agreement between China and Mexico to mutually protect and preserve cultural assets, and to prevent the pilfering, clandestine excavation, and illegal import or export of such assets.

Numerous areas of cooperation can be explored as part of promoting bilateral ties, Avila said.

"We need to change our way of perceiving China as a powerful competitor and we must see this great Asian country as a potential partner," Avila said.

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