BEIJING, July 11 -- Chinese experts believe the upcoming visit by President Xi Jinping to Latin America will lift relations between China and the region to a new level.
Later this month, Xi will pay a state visit to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. He will also attend a summit of the BRICS nations and meet with leaders of Latin American and Caribbean nations in Brazil.
The visit will be Xi's second Latin American tour and his first visit to South America as president.
Last year, he visited Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico from May 31 to June 6, during which he also held talks with leaders of eight Caribbean nations.
The two visits cover most major countries in the region and will advance development of ties between China and the region in a more comprehensive and balanced manner, said Wu Changsheng, director of the Latin American study center under the China Foundation for International Studies.
China and the countries to be visited are all developing countries, and they also constitute important global emerging powers, said Wu, also former Chinese ambassador to several Latin American countries.
China and Latin America are witnessing an increasing reliance on each other in their development, he said.
A more comprehensive partnership between the two sides will be in line with these countries' common interests and realistic needs and will be a natural result of closer China-Latin American cooperation, he said.
China-Latin American relations are at their best in history with frequent visits by leaders, robust economic and trade ties and close exchanges among the people, said Wu Hongying, director of the Latin American office of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
"It is time to lift the overall level of the two sides' cooperation," she said.
Wu Hongying noted that in 2013, trade volume between China and Latin America reached a record 261.57 billion U.S. dollars, almost 21 times the figure in 2000.
Cultural exchanges have also been enhanced. To date a total of 31 Confucius Institutes have been set up in 14 Latin American countries and China has promised to offer scholarships to 5,000 students from the region.
With deepening political mutual trust, widening economic, scientific and technological cooperation, expanding cultural communication and growing consensus, China-Latin American ties will spur greater and faster development, said Wu Changsheng.