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Xi: Ties with Buenos Aires stand 'at new starting point'

Updated: 2014-07-21 07:22
By Zhang Yuwei in New York and Wu Jiao in Buenos Aires ( China Daily)

Xi: Ties with Buenos Aires stand 'at new starting point'

Legislative bodies of China and Argentina should enhance exchanges and mutual learning in an effort to promote bilateral ties, visiting President Xi Jinping said on Saturday in Argentina, the second leg of his South America trip.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with Amado Boudou, Argentina's vice-president and head of the upper house of the Argentine National Congress, and Julian Dominguez, president of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house.

Xi said the Argentine National Congress embodied the country's public opinion, and its support for developing China-Argentina ties cemented China's determination for friendly cooperation.

The Chinese leader praised the exchanges between China's National People's Congress and the Argentine National Congress, which he said helped enrich the content of bilateral ties.

Xi said he had productive talks with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, on Friday, when they agreed to build the two countries' relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

"China-Argentina relations now stand at a new starting point in history," said Xi.

The two sides should see each other as development opportunities and partners, boosting mutually beneficial cooperation to promote common development, Xi said.

For their part, the two leaders of the Argentine National Congress lauded Xi's visit as a strong boost to mutual trust and cooperation and for its profound impact on promoting bilateral relations.

Argentina-China cooperation is conducive to achieving common development, intensifying the unity and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, and promoting the establishment of a more just and rational international order, said the two leaders.

Boudou and Dominguez also pledged the support of the Congress to the development of Argentina-China ties.

Also on Saturday, President Xi met with Mauricio Macri, mayor of Buenos Aires, and was given a key to the city to honor the friendship between the two nations.

Xi said Buenos Aires has had exchanges with Beijing and Guangzhou for a long time and has been taking the lead in promoting Argentina-China and South America-China relations.

Macri said Xi's visit has lifted bilateral relations to a new level. The agreements signed between China and Argentina during Xi's visit have created more important opportunities for both nations.

Xi: Ties with Buenos Aires stand 'at new starting point'

China has invested about 143 billion yuan ($23 billion) in Argentine hydrocarbons, mining, finance and agricultural exports and is the country's third-largest trading partner after the South American Mercosur bloc and the European Union, and one of its main destinations for food exports.

Jon Taylor, professor of political science at the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas, said Xi's visit to Argentina underscores China's cultivation of relations with its "strategic partners" in South America.

"The visit to Argentina typifies his trip - economic rather than ideological," the US professor said.

On Friday, when Xi met with his Argentine counterpart Kirchner, the two witnessed signing of a series of agreements ranging from infrastructure to finance.

"The announcement of Chinese investments in hydroelectric power, shipbuilding, railways, and a deal to help Argentina build its fourth nuclear plant only cements a burgeoning economic partnership," said Taylor.

Argentina is the second leg of Xi's four-nation Latin America tour, which has already taken him to Brazil, where he attended the sixth BRICS summit, and will later take him to Venezuela and Cuba.

"President Xi's Latin America visit has tremendous geopolitical significance, which goes beyond massive trade deals between China and major Latin American economies and China's generous investments there," said Zhu Zhiqun, director of the China Institute at Bucknell University in the United States.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at yuweizhang@chinadailyusa.com

 Xi: Ties with Buenos Aires stand 'at new starting point'

Mauricio Macri (left), mayor of Buenos Aires, awards visiting President Xi Jinping with a key to the Argentine city to honor the friendship between China and Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Ma Zhancheng / Xinhua