|Wang Yi: Jointly Building the "Belt and Road" Is the "Golden Key" for China and LAC to March Toward a Bright Future|
On January 22, 2018 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States that the cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is like a fruit tree. If both sides can channel fresh spring of the "Belt and Road" and water it with care, the tree of China-LAC overall cooperation and bilateral cooperation will become more luxuriant and yield more sweet fruits. China and LAC have reached new consensus on the joint construction of the "Belt and Road", which will inject new vitality into and open up new prospects for comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and LAC. The joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and LAC is the "golden key" for both sides to march toward a bright future.
Wang Yi expressed that the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and LAC enjoys profound historical accumulation. President Xi Jinping has mentioned China-LAC "Pacific Maritime Silk Road" and the "Chinese Boat" for several times. This Maritime Silk Road dates back to the middle of the 16th century, which takes Fujian Province of China as the starting point, passes by Manila of the Philippines, goes across the Pacific and arrives in Acapulco of Mexico. Through this Maritime Silk Road, China and LAC exchanged eastern silk, porcelain and spice for American corn, potato and pepper, which promoted the exchanges between the two civilizations. Sailing on the blue ocean, the "Chinese Boat" connected the emotions of the people of China and LAC, becoming shared happy memories for both sides.
Wang Yi pointed out that the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and LAC enjoys solid foundation for cooperation. Since the new century, China-LAC relations have developed rapidly with the level of cooperation being constantly promoted and the integration of interests being increasingly deepened. China has established bilateral free trade areas with Chile, Peru and Costa Rica, and reached trade and investment facilitation arrangements as well as signed production capacity cooperation agreements with a number of countries in the region. The emerging of e-commerce and digital economy in recent years has opened a new gate for the China-LAC economic and trade exchanges again. China and LAC have also conducted various forms of financial cooperation, among which the arrangement for over 17 billion US dollars has been implemented as part of a 35-billion-US dollars worth of financing package. A special fund of 30 billion US dollars for China-LAC production capacity cooperation has also been launched, and a fund limited liability company has been set up to this end.
Wang Yi noted that the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and LAC has a strong demand for cooperation. The LAC are emerging developing regions. Various countries in the regions are pursuing the dream of development and rejuvenation as well as people's well-being. They have formulated development plans full of ambition and strategic vision in succession. China and LAC need a higher level of advantage complementarity. Both sides need to jointly enhance economic competitiveness so that the value chain of the industry could climb up to medium-to-high end. The joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and LAC will become the "golden key" for both sides to march toward a bright future.