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Ambassador Zhang Jinxiong's Article on China-CELAC Cooperation
2018/04/13

On April 13, Times of Suriname, the largest news paper in Suriname published Ambassador Zhang Jinxiong's article titled as “A More Open China Will Bring New Opportunities for China-CELAC Cooperation”. The full text is as follows:

I have been asked by Surinamese friends quite a few times about the recent tension between China and the US over trade. Will the possible trade confrontation between the world’s two biggest economies affect China’s opening-up policy and the global trading system? How do you react to the criticism of White House officials of China’s trade policy for this hemisphere as not productive and thus Latin American countries should work with the US instead of China?

Our answers to those questions are quite clear. First of all, China's door of opening up will not be closed and will only be opened even wider. Secondly, China remains as a strong advocate of global trading system and committed to open, inclusive, balanced and win-win economic globalization. Thirdly, the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and CELAC countries on an equal footing has been in line with the trend of times and brought tangible results to both peoples. It’s our shared aspiration and choice to only strengthen the cooperation, which should not and will not be disturbed by groundless accusations.

China has always been contributing to world peace, global growth and international order. Peaceful development, global partnership, a new type of international relations and international community of shared future remains to be the unswerving goal of our foreign policy. On the annual meeting of Boao Forum for Asia two days ago, President Xi Jinping solemnly declared a series of new major measures China will take in opening up wider to the rest of the world. He pledged that those measures ensuring easier market access, better investment environment, stronger IPR protection and larger import will be implemented at an early date so as to benefit enterprises and people from all over the world.

China-CELAC cooperation is part and parcel for China’s overall opening up policy. As an integral part of South-South cooperation, the successful cooperation has already set a good example for the rest of developing nations. The fruitful cooperation in recent years has made China the largest or second largest trading partner for most of the Latin American countries. Nowadays, Chinese costumers can easily buy more quality products from CELAC countries. China’s direct investment to this hemisphere has exceeded $200 billion dollars, creating 1.8 million jobs for local people in Latin America. This cooperation has well matched the practical and long-term demand of CELAC countries in their pursuit of growth, brought real benefits to their people and vigorously promoted socioeconomic development of the region. Early this year, the Second Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Cooperation Forum was held in Chile, adopting three significant documents and turning over a new chapter for China-CELAC relations. Participating countries have unanimously agreed to embrace more innovation and upgrade our cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. It’s only natural to envisage the cooperation driven by a more powerful engine to have better quality, improved structure and extend to wider fields.

In the short span of two years of work in Suriname, I become an eye-witness of the impressive achievements of our bilateral cooperation, which is to a large extent attributed to the opening-up policy of China and the dynamic China-CELAC cooperation. Our BUZA colleagues are now working in a far better facility renovated by a Chinese company. Children from local communities call the Sofia Lust’s Centre as their “dream palace”. Projects of Dalian IV, Wanica hospital, national broadband and e-governance are pressing ahead smoothly. Projects of 350 houses and international airport expansion will be launched very soon. Feasibility study of an agriculture technological cooperation center has been concluded. Road safety and surveillance project is under intensive study. Private investors such as Zhonghengtai Company, Broad Homes and CDIG are actively working on either oil palm or housing projects. The two governments are busy discussing better integrating our development strategies under the Belt and Road Initiative.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's opening up and reform policy. Forty years of unremitting endeavors and experiences have reaffirmed the determination and confidence of the Chinese people in adhering to this fundamental national policy - the only path to win-win outcomes for the international community.

Looking into the future, a more open China on a fast development track heralds new opportunities and broader prospect for China-CELAC cooperation. Many CELAC countries have already signed up for the First International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai this year. They are more than welcome to join us to better harvest the dividend of the Chinese market and reform policy. We stand ready to join our hands to promote our mutually beneficial cooperation for the interest of people of both sides.

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