New China Policy Paper on Latin America and Caribbean: Win-Win Cooperation And ‘Expanding Common Interests’
Coinciding with the conclusion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tour of Ibero-America, China’s Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a broad-ranging policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean, describing it as a “blueprint for the future” based on “new ideas, proposals and initiatives in China’s Latin America and Caribbean policy for the new era.” The Foreign Ministry’s last policy paper on this subject was issued in 2008.
As the world is undergoing “unprecedented historical changes, with multipolarity and globalization gaining momentum,” the document states, China stands ready
“to promote the construction of a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and forge a community of shared future.”
And, it adds, China’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean are in “the new stage of comprehensive cooperation.”
From here, in four separate sections, the document describes in great detail, and in many subsections, an array of areas in which comprehensive cooperation is planned, beginning with the characterization in Part I, of Latin America and the Caribbean as “a Land Full of Vitality and Hope.” It pinpoints the July, 2014 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit in Brazil as the takeoff point for the “comprehensive and cooperative partnership,” reflected in the establishment of the China-Celac Forum, (Celac is the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) as a crucial vehicle for policy coordination.
This partnership, the document notes, “serves as a shining example of developing countries working together to seek common development.” Financial and technical aid is offered without any political conditionalities. Poverty reduction will be a key goal. Chinese companies are encouraged, and will be provided the financial means, to invest in the region or establish branches there. The document also makes the point, in an obvious reference to the United States, that China’s aid to, and relationship with, this region of the world, is in no way directed toward, or intended to exclude, “third parties.”
Part IV of the document, entitled “Further Strengthening Cooperation in All Fields,” provides the most detailed description of China’s planned contribution to the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, spanning projects in manufacturing cooperation, engineering, infrastructure building, science and technology and aerospace, to name a few. In the latter area, it underscores it
“will pay full attention to the role of space technology as a driving force for the scientific, technological and industrial development of Latin American and Caribbean countries.”
Cooperation in science and technology innovation includes nuclear energy, civil aviation, building R&D centers, high-tech parks and joint laboratories, among others. Manufacturing cooperation will include projects “which will cover the whole industrial chain,” allowing both sides to “increase local employment, upgrade the level of industrialization and promote local economic and social development.”
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