Xi's trip opens new horizon for ties with Latin America

By Wu Liming, Chang Ailing (Xinhua)

14:44, June 07, 2013

MERIDA, Mexico, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday wrapped up his Latin American tour with a light-hearted visit to Chichen Itza, an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in the Mexican state of Yucatan.

The seven-day trip, which took Xi to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico, opened a new horizon for relations between China and Latin America.

UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS

In a speech given at the Mexican Senate, Xi talked about great opportunities to develop relations between China and Mexico as well as the cultural linkage between the two nations.

He mentioned football, Mexican writer Octavio Paz and the Pyramid of the Sun. Mexican lawmakers gave Xi standing ovations several times.

In Costa Rica, Xi, together with his wife Peng Liyuan, toured a farm, tasted local food and told the hosts that he himself was once a farmer.

In Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Xi met leaders from eight Caribbean countries, a creative diplomatic arrangement equivalent to a mini-summit between China and the Caribbean.

Carlos Tavares, a Brazilian expert on China and global trade, said Xi's talks with leaders of the Caribbean nations showed that the new Chinese leadership was ready to deepen relations with the region.

Leaders of Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico staged grand welcome ceremonies for Xi and Xi's arrival was on front page of national newspapers.

When Xi set foot on Port of Spain as the first Chinese president to visit Trinidad and Tobago, President Anthony Carmona, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and cabinet members were on hand to greet Xi.

In Costa Rica, Xi received the Key to San Jose, the highest honor awarded to foreigners by the city. Xi was also awarded the key to Mexico City during his trip in Mexico.

CONCRETE RESULTS

During Xi's stay in Trinidad and Tobago, China and the English-speaking Caribbean country inked a host of agreements on economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

Both sides agreed to boost trade and investment. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said her country's embassy in China would be fully operational by the time of her visit to China later this year.

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