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Wang Yi Chairs the Seventh Dialogue of Foreign Ministers of China and the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
2019-09-27

On September 26, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the seventh Dialogue of Foreign Ministers of China and the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. Foreign Minister Diego Pary Rodríguez of Bolivia, the CELAC current rotating presidency; Arlanda, representative of Foreign Minister of El Salvador, the former rotating presidency; Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón of Mexico, the incoming rotating presidency; Foreign Minister Sarah Flood Beaubrun of Saint Lucia, the current rotating presidency of the Caribbean Community; Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado of the Dominican Republic; Paul Oquist, Minister-Private Secretary for National Policies to Presidency of Nicaragua, attended the dialogue. The dialogue was also attended by representatives of other member states of the CELAC.

Foreign Ministers present at the meeting first watched the video produced by the Chinese side commemorating the 5th anniversary of the founding of the China-CELAC Forum.

Wang Yi expressed, in the past 5 years since the establishment of the China-CELAC Forum, mechanism building has been moved forward in an orderly way with fruitful results from cooperation in various fields. In the face of the current international situation, China and CELAC countries, as developing nations, share broad common interests in upholding international fairness and justice, safeguarding free trade, and advocating multilateralism. The two sides should strengthen coordination and cooperation, enhance dialogues and exchanges, and strive to become a driving force for world peace and development. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, the Chinese side will always work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, respect each other's choice of political system and development path, and boost the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative in line with the concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, so as to achieve common development. China-Latin America cooperation is a voluntary choice of both sides. China has never had any geopolitical considerations in Latin America and is willing to carry out trilateral and multilateral cooperation on the basis of respecting the will of the countries in the region, and make the pie of converging interests bigger to achieve win-win and multi-win results.

Wang Yi said, in the next stage, the Chinese side is willing to work with the CELAC side to push forward the China-CELAC overall cooperation in four aspects:

First, we should jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality. As China has the competitive advantage in big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and other high-technology fields, China and the CELAC can give priority to promoting cooperation in the "Online Silk Road" and the "Digital Silk Road" under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Second, we should expand cooperation in emerging fields. Improving the quality of people's life is the orientation of policy shared by the two sides and will become a new growth point for cooperation in the next step. The Chinese side is willing to share its rich experience with the CELAC side in targeted poverty alleviation, pollution prevention and control and other fields. The Chinese side stands ready to work together with the CELAC side to well implement the joint action plan approved in the Second Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum, so as to deliver more benefits to peoples of both sides.

Third, we should strengthen multilateral solidarity and coordination. The Chinese side supports Latin American countries in well hosting the BRICS Summit, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the UN Climate Change Conference this year, and hopes to, taking the China-CELAC Forum as a platform, send out positive signals with the CELAC side to support multilateral trading mechanism, and uphold the common interests and space for development of China, CELAC countries and other developing countries.

Fourth, we should improve the mechanism building of the forum. The Chinese side is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with the CELAC side, start the preparations in due time for the Third Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum to be held in China in 2021, well host the Fifth China-Latin America and the Caribbean Think Tanks Forum and the 13th China-Latin America and the Caribbean Business Summit, and push forward the official launch of the Network Secretariat of China-CELAC Forum at an early date. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the CELAC side to overcome difficulties on the road ahead, and continuously enhance the building of the China-CELAC Forum, so as to constantly advance the development of the China-CELAC overall cooperation.

Foreign Ministers of the CELAC attending the dialogue congratulated on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and spoke positively and highly of the positive progress achieved in the CELAC-China cooperation in various fields over the past 5 years. They said, China is an important strategic partner of Latin American countries and China's presence in Latin America is positive. The CELAC-China cooperation, especially the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative, has vigorously promoted the development of Latin American countries and improved the well-being of the people in Latin America. Facing the current international situation, the CELAC side stands ready to work together with the Chinese side to further deepen communication and coordination, uphold multilateralism and international order, and strive to elevate CELAC-China relations to a new level.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

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