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Guangming Daily: China and Latin America’s Activities in 2023

Guangming Daily, a major mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP), reviewed the development in the relationships between China and Latin American countries in 2023:

In 2023 there were many high-level exchanges between China and Latin American countries. Leaders from ten countries paid visits to China: Brazil, Honduras, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Barbados, Suriname, Cuba, and Uruguay. President Xi Jinping met with the Presidents of Mexico and Peru in San Francisco, USA. China established diplomatic relations with Honduras, elevated bilateral relations with Venezuela to the status of “all-weather strategic partnership,” with Colombia and Nicaragua to “strategic partnerships,” and with Uruguay to “comprehensive strategic partnership.” China also deepened its cooperation with Cuba under the banner of “building a shared destiny.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held exchanges with Latin-American political parties. [Representatives of] many Latin-American political parties attended the high-level dialogue between the CCP and the world’s political parties in March, 2023; China and Cuba held their fifth communist theory conference in Beijing in April; and China held the third China-Latin America Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in July.

From January to October 2023, trade between China and Latin America reached 2.835 trillion yuan (US$ 390 billion), a 6 percent increase from the same period during the previous year. Chinese companies actively invested in Latin America, particularly in the fields of new energy and the digital economy. On May 11, China and Ecuador signed a free trade agreement. From May 30 to June 2, China and Peru held their fifth round of negotiations for the upgrade of the China-Peru Free Trade Agreement. On July 4, China and Honduras launched negotiations for a free trade agreement. On August 31, China signed a free trade agreement with Nicaragua, making Nicaragua China’s fifth free trade partner in the Latin American region. In addition, China initiated free trade agreement negotiations with El Salvador last year, and negotiations with Uruguay are also underway.

Honduras joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2023; it is the 22nd Latin American country in the BRI circle. Countries like Cuba, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay signed specific cooperation plans with China. Latin American nations actively participated in the third BRI Cooperation Summit Forum, with the President of Chile attending the forum three times consecutively. By September 2023, China implemented over 200 infrastructure projects in Latin America, including roads, railways, light rails, schools, hospitals, sports venues, bridges, tunnels, airports, ports, and power facilities.

China and Latin American countries, all being developing nations, collaborated extensively in addressing international issues, global challenges, and promoting the reform of the global governance system. Close coordination between China and Brazil supported Argentina in joining the BRICS family (Editor’s Note: this article was written before Argentina officially announced that it would not join BRICS). Latin American countries actively supported the “Three Major Global Initiatives” (Editor’s Note: this refers to Xi Jinping’s Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative), with several countries joining the “Friends of the Global Development Initiative” group. China and Latin American countries actively consulted and reached broad consensus in addressing hot issues such as the Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Palestine conflict. China supported Brazil’s bid for the 30th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2025, and advocated for the establishment of a “Climate Compensation Fund” for vulnerable economies in Latin America.

Source: Guangming Daily, December 26, 2023