China's Policy Paper on LAC Brings China-Ja Cooperation to a New Height

China highly values her relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past four years, President XI Jinping, top leader of China, has visited countries in Latin America and the Caribbean three times. The frequent visits of top Chinese leader fully manifest the strategic significance of the region to China’s future development. On November 24th 2016, when President XI Jinping completed his successful state visits to Ecuador, Peru and Chile, the Chinese government released its second policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean.

The second policy paper is aimed to summarize experience, draw a blueprint for the future, provide a comprehensive explanation of the new ideas, proposals and initiatives in China’s Latin America and Caribbean policy for the new era, and promote China’s cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean in various areas. It is focused on the exposition of the general objective of China’s policy on Latin America and the Caribbean to build a new relationship with five salient features, namely, sincerity and mutual trust in the political field, win-win cooperation on the economic front, mutual learning in culture, close coordination in international affairs, as well as mutual reinforcement between China’s cooperation with the region as a whole and its bilateral relations with individual countries in the region. It also puts forward practical proposals to enhance China-LAC cooperation in the political, economic, social, cultural and people-to-people fields, on international collaboration, peace, security and judicial affairs, collective cooperation and trilateral cooperation.

As early as in 2008, the Chinese government issued its first policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, putting forward the goal of establishing a comprehensive and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development with Latin American and Caribbean countries. Since 2013, President XI Jinping and other Chinese leaders have set forth a series of major initiatives and measures on strengthening China’s relations and cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean in a wide range of areas, which has provided new development goals and new driving forces for the relations. In 2014, China-LAC Summit was held in Brasilia, when leaders of the two sides agreed to establish the China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development and jointly announced the establishment of the Forum of China and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (China-CELAC Forum). Since then, the relationship has entered into a new stage of comprehensive cooperation. The Chinese government, by formulating and publishing the second policy paper, has restated its consistent position of valuing the development of China-LAC relations. The Chinese side will fully implement the second policy paper, through joint efforts with countries in the region, to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas and bring the China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new height.

In early 2015, the First Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum was held in Beijing, marking the inauguration of the China-CELAC Forum and the beginning of a new era of China-LAC cooperation. In this favourable context, the bilateral relationship between China and Jamaica has also maintained fast and sound development. Our cooperation in various fields has been enhanced further in breadth and depth. We have kept the good momentum of high-level exchanges to further sondolidate political mutual trust; fruitful progress has been achieved in pragmatic cooperation to further strengthen economic and trade ties; people-to-people communication and exchanges in areas such as military affairs, education, sports, and culture are ever expanding.

In the next stage, China is ready to work jointly with the Jamaican side to fully implement the second policy paper to deepen China-Jamaica cooperation in the following areas.

First, give full play to the guiding role of high-level exchanges, and further strengthen exchanges of experience on governance and development.

Second, by establishing the new “1+3+6” framework for pragmatic cooperation (i.e. One guidance of the China-Latin American and Caribbean Countries Cooperation Plan 2015–2019, utilizing three driving forces of trade, investment and financial cooperation, and identifying six cooperation priorities in energy and resources, infrastructure construction, agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation and information technology) and the new “3×3” model for capacity cooperation (which refers to jointly building the three major passages of logistics, electricity and information in Latin America, enabling healthy interactions among the enterprise, society and government, and expanding the three financing channels of funds, credit loans and insurance), further intensify bilateral cooperation in energy and resources, infrastructure construction, agriculture, economic and technological assistance, etc.

Third, encourage cultural and people-to-people communication, actively hold dialogues between civilizations, strengthen sports exchanges and practical cooperation, expand education and human resources training, deepen exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in the UN and other international organizations, enhance the voice of developing countries in international affairs, and safeguard common interests of both sides as well as other developing countries.

China-LAC comprehensive and cooperative partnership is based on equality and mutual benefit, aimed at common development, and an integrated part of South-South Cooperation. Under the new historical circumstances, both China and Latin America and the Caribbean strongly wish to further consolidate the friendly partnership, share the opportunities for development, respond jointly to challenges, so as to achieve mutual benefit and common development at a higher level. The Friendly Partnership for Common Development between China and Jamaica was established in 2005, being an integral part of China-LAC comprehensive and cooperative partnership. In the 11 years since then, China-Jamaica relationship has advanced at a rapid pace and is at its historical best. On the occasion of the release of the second policy paper, the Jamaican side is encouraged to take full advantage of the favourable elements for development presented by the policy paper. It is also my personal aspiration to make joint efforts with my Jamaican friends to bring the Friendly Partnership for Common Development between China and Jamaica to a new height.

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