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ECLAC wants closer China, Caribbean ties

Published: 
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Alicia Barcena

SANTIAGO—Delegates attending the first high-level Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) academic forum have underscored “the enormous opportunities” for economic, social, political and cultural cooperation between China and the LAC.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), delegates particularly recognised these opportunities “in the current international context marked by uncertainty, the effects of climate change and the revival of protectionist trends.”

Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, spoke of “the significance of holding a gathering of this nature in our region for the first time, just months before the Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers from CELAC and China scheduled for next January in Santiago.

“It will be, without a doubt, a historic milestone in that it will allow us to deepen ties between both sides even further. The opportunities for cooperation across diverse areas are huge,” he said.

The conference ended yesterday.

The director general of the Institute of Latin American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (ILAS-CASS), Wu Baiyi, noted that while China and Latin America and the Caribbean may be geographically distant, encounters such as this forum help to strengthen ties between both sides.

“As Chinese President Xi Jinping put it, friendship can bridge distances,” he said, adding that cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean is “of the utmost importance, especially in a world as globalised as today’s.”

ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Bárcena said “there is no better time than the present, marked by economic and political uncertainties and dire environmental effects worldwide, to open a debate between China and Latin America and the Caribbean.”

ECLAC said delegates, on different panels, have been addressing the economic reforms in China and their implications for Latin America and the Caribbean, especially ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which begins today in Beijing. (CMC)