by Rafael Cañas
Beijing, Jan 9 (EFE).- China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, cemented a new alliance for multilateral cooperation on Friday, opening a new era of joint action for Latin America.
The forum that concluded Friday in Beijing with a resolution to construct a community of Latin American and Caribbean nations sharing common objectives, represents a new model of South-South cooperation, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
The two-day ministerial meet originated with a suggestion made by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his Latin American tour in July, and now has been transformed from dream to reality, Wang said at a press conference to mark its close.
Delegates agreed on a joint declaration that establishes that a political consensus was reached and chalks a roadmap for reaching higher levels of bilateral cooperation.
At the inauguration of the forum Thursday, Xi Jinping announced that China had promised to invest $250 billion in Latin America in the next 10 years and double bilateral trade between the two regions to $500 billion.
For his part, Wang also recalled that Xi had announced during his tour in July a $35 billion fund to promote investments in the region.
Sectors such as infrastructure, mining, industry, scientific innovation, education and social policies haven been prioritized.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez called its a defining moment in relations between the two regions that opened the door for cooperation based not on improbable goals but on a sincere desire to help one another.
Both Gonzalez and Wang stressed that though this alliance was a model of South-South cooperation, it was not directed against the interests of anyone, especially the United States, which has traditionally exerted a strong influence over Latin American affairs.
Wang stressed that China and the Latin American and Caribbean region have a common history as developing countries and both are on a quest for a more just and reasonable world.
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said that this new relation would help to promote the integration of Latin America and that the region would function more as a single block.
This is the first time that we are going to function together while dealing with a third party, she said, adding that here there would be no haggling for the resources offered by China.
It was also decided that Chile would host the 2nd China-CELAC Forum in 2018.
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