BEIJING – China said on Wednesday the upcoming state visits by the presidents of Chile and Argentina constituted an opportunity to boost bilateral ties between the countries.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Argentine President Mauricio Macri are to visit the Chinese capital, Beijing, and take part in the international New Silk Road Forum that begins on Sunday.
“China attaches great importance to developing friendly cooperative relations with the two countries. We would like to take their visits as an opportunity to further deepen our mutual beneficial and friendly cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press conference.
Geng also referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meetings in 2016 with Bachelet and Macri, and the establishment of the China-Chile Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Xi met with Macri twice last year, during which they “reached an important consensus on the development of friendly cooperation between the two countries in different fields,” said Geng.
When asked about the interest of Latin American countries in the New Silk Road framework, the spokesperson said that since its establishment in 2013, the initiative has attracted the attention of different nations in the region.
Bachelet is expected to arrive for her state visit in China late on Friday.
She is scheduled to meet with President Xi and to sign agreements on cooperation before the New Silk Road Forum, while Macri’s state visit is officially slated for May 17, following the international summit.
The two-day forum on the New Silk Road – Beijing’s initiative to reopen and expand the historical trade route connecting China with Europe, Asia and Africa – will bring together heads of states and governments from 28 countries, among them Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Spain and Italy, as well as representatives from more than a hundred countries and international organizations.