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Wang Yi Chairs and Delivers a Keynote Speech at the Third Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum
2021-12-04 22:55

On the evening of December 3, 2021, the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held via video link. President Xi Jinping and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose country is the rotating presidency of the CELAC, virtually addressed the meeting, respectively. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired and delivered a keynote speech at the meeting.

Wang Yi said, President Xi Jinping spoke highly of the outcomes of the China-CELAC Forum and mapped a grand blueprint for leading China-CELAC cooperation with the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in his video address. President Lopez also expressed his good wishes for further deepening CELAC-China cooperation in his video address. Since its second ministerial meeting, the China-CELAC Forum has taken new steps and achieved fresh results in cooperation, laying a solid foundation for a higher-level performance of China-CELAC ties. Over the past three years, we have been sincere to, trusted and respected each other, conducted extensive consultations and collaborated well on issues concerning each other's major interests; we have looked out for each other with one heart and mind and stood together with mutual assistance, fully supported each other in COVID-19 response, and built a China-CELAC community of health; we have cooperated and pursued common development for the benefit of all, promoted the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Latin America in substance, and seen annual China-CELAC trade volume above 300 billion U.S. dollars for three years in a row; we have learned from each other in an open and inclusive manner, pooled the friendly forces of all sectors of society, and made important contributions to facilitating China-CELAC cooperation and South-South cooperation.

Wang Yi said, the GDI proposed by President Xi Jinping is aimed at forming international synergies to tackle the pandemic challenges and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UN), which serves the common interests of developing countries, including Latin American and Caribbean countries. Thus, the initiative has received a positive response from the international community. Regional countries are welcome to actively support and join the initiative.

Wang Yi put forward five suggestions:

First, we should stay committed to treating each other as equals and work together to create opportunities for independent development. We should jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, especially the principle that all countries, big or small, are equal, and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, security and development interests. As the Taiwan issue concerns China's national unity and bears on the national sentiment, we believe that more Latin American and Caribbean countries will support China's legitimate position in this regard. China will also always stand together with developing countries, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning with regional countries, explore paths to modernization suited to own national conditions, and keep the initiative of development firmly in our own hands!

Second, we should stay committed to offering each other mutual benefits and work together to create opportunities for interconnected development. We will continue to deepen cooperation in joint research and development and production of vaccines and drugs. The Chinese side welcomes the CELAC side to continuously apply for the China-CELAC Special Loan for Combating COVID-19, and will set up a new China-CELAC Special Loan for Development Cooperation to support practical cooperation in the eight areas of the GDI. We welcome regional countries to continue to share the dividends of China's building of a new development paradigm, and push deeper the high-quality BRI cooperation between China and the CELAC, which will help speed up the post-pandemic recovery.

Third, we should stay committed to innovation and work together to create opportunities for green development. We will step up cooperation in digital economy, e-commerce, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, smart agriculture, smart cities, 5G and other emerging fields, and build the China-CELAC "Digital Silk Road". China has decided to set up the China-CELAC Special Loan for Cooperation on Digital Economy, and is willing to work with the CELAC side to boost the green transition of economy, jointly urge developed countries to honor their climate financing commitments, and provide developing countries with greater support in emission reduction technology and capacity building.

Fourth, we should stay committed to openness and work together to create opportunities for inclusive development. We will jointly defend true multilateralism, enhance the fairness, effectiveness and inclusiveness of global development, and strive to leave no country or person behind. China has decided to establish the China-Caribbean Development Center to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Caribbean countries on the implementation of the GDI.

Fifth, we should stay committed to benefiting the people and work together to create opportunities for development that benefits all. The purpose of China-CELAC cooperation is to enhance the well-being of the people of both sides, and the fruits of cooperation should be shared by the people. The two sides should continuously expand exchanges and cooperation in the fields of local governments, enterprises, media, think tanks, youth, sports and tourism. China will offer regional countries 5,000 government scholarships and 3,000 training places in the next two years, and welcomes regional countries to participate in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Wang Yi stressed that no matter how the international situation changes, China-CELAC cooperation in unity or the forum's development would never stop. Looking into the future, we should co-defend peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and join hands to promote the building of a China-CELAC community with a shared future.

The foreign ministers of CELAC member states said, China is an indispensable and important development partner of Latin American and Caribbean countries. They thanked China for its strong support to the countries in the region in fighting the pandemic, welcomed the major cooperation initiatives proposed by China, and agreed that the two sides should bring the role of the China-CELAC Forum as a platform into further play, expand and deepen China-CELAC cooperation in various fields, adhere to multilateralism, jointly uphold the principle of sovereign equality, safeguard fairness and justice, and drive sustainable development.

The meeting adopted the Declaration of the Third Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum and the China-CELAC Joint Action Plan for Cooperation in Key Areas (2022-2024).

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