By Elena Chuquimarca
QUITO, (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s visit to Latin America has brought renewed focus on China’s relations with the region, opening the door to a strengthened cooperation, said a former Ecuadorian official.
“Xi’s tour is evidence of the importance the Chinese government pays to Latin America. It will deepen these ties in a highly complex international context,” Ecuador’s former minister of international relations, Francisco Carrion, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The Chinese leader concluded his tour in Chile on Wednesday, after visiting Ecuador and Peru, where he took part in the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
During his trip, Xi elevated China’s relations with Ecuador and Chile to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, a status its ties with Peru had reached in 2013.
Carrion believed that Xi’s announcement that China will help Latin American countries seek development paths suited to their national conditions “opened a new stage” for relations.
“The visit to three countries in the region is positive for a better positioning of China in Latin America and of Latin America in China,” he noted, adding that “China has become the defender of free trade.”
The former minister explained that Ecuador and the region need to seek closer ties with China since their interests are compatible and complementary.
“There is no doubt that China plays a very important role in the international arena. The Latin American region must pragmatically seek benefits, such as common projects,” he said.
“The topic of financing is very important, especially with China’s participation on technology and infrastructure,” added Carrion.
Overall, the former minister put a high value on Xi’s call for a more sustainable globalization process to guarantee the well-being of all countries and regions.
“This is a demonstration of the strength of the Chinese economy,” he said.