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Wang Yi Attends the Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum

On January 22, 2018 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Santiago.

Wang Yi read President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter at the opening ceremony. Wang Yi expressed that in this congratulatory letter, President Xi Jinping highly affirmed the development of the China-CELAC Forum over the past three years and proposed to lead China-CELAC relations through the joint construction of the "Belt and Road", which reflected China's sincere willingness to deepen China-CELAC cooperation and realize common development.

Wang Yi expressed in the opening speech that over the past three years, China and CELAC have made joint efforts to build the basic framework of the forum, and put the forum on a sound running track. Both sides have deeply ploughed and intensively cultivated various cooperation under the framework of the forum, achieving tangible results. Political mutual trust has enjoyed in-depth development; economic and trade cooperation has been continuously increased; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges are in full swing.

Wang Yi stressed that the fruitful achievements from the China-CELAC Forum are ascribed to the fact that both sides have always adhered to mutual respect and equal treatment and always stuck to jointly seeking cooperation and promoting development. In the next stage, China stands ready to, together with the CELAC, in accordance with the goal of establishing comprehensive cooperative partnership set by President Xi Jinping and leaders of the CELAC and take the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" as a new opportunity to deepen the "1+3+6" cooperation framework between China and the CELAC, in a bid to promote the optimization, upgrading, innovation and development of China-CELAC cooperation. To this end, China suggests that China and the CELAC should jointly build a greater connectivity integrating land and ocean, cultivate big markets featuring openness and mutual benefit, forge independent and advanced large-scale industries, seize the great opportunities of innovation and growth and conduct large-scale exchanges with equality and mutual trust. Both sides should take this meeting as a new starting point to jointly forge a new pattern of China-CELAC cooperation featuring broader field, superior structure, stronger impetus and better quality.

Wang Yi also delivered a keynote speech at the first phase of the plenary session and presided over its second phase, at which Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao and Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang delivered speeches.

Representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries who attended the meeting highly appreciated that President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the meeting, and fully affirmed the fruitful achievements from the China-CELAC Forum and the positive role the forum has played in promoting China-CELAC cooperation in the past three years. Various parties generally welcome and support the "Belt and Road" initiative, actively agree with China's proposal of new ideas and new concepts for deepening cooperation between the two sides under the "Belt and Road" framework, and all agree that the "Belt and Road" initiative has provided new and great opportunities for the CELAC to achieve development. The CELAC hoped to learn from China's successful development experience and achieve common development of the CELAC and China through the joint construction of the "Belt and Road".

The meeting adopted Declaration of Santiago and Joint Action Plan of China-CELAC Cooperation (Priority Areas) (2019-2021). Besides, the Special Statement on the "Belt and Road" was specially adopted and issued at the meeting. After the meeting, Wang Yi and Foreign Ministers of Chile and El Salvador jointly met the press.

During the meeting, Wang Yi also met respectively with Foreign Ministers of Chile, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago, and held group meetings with Foreign Ministers of nine Caribbean countries which have diplomatic relations with China and principals of the CELAC regional organizations.

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