SANTIAGO – The Chilean government emphasized on Monday the role its country is playing in diplomatic relations with China, with bilateral trade exceeding $34 billion last year, 17 percent more than in 2016.
“Chile has always been first ... The first to recognize the People’s Republic of China in South America in 1970, in negotiating for Latin America China’s entry into the (World Trade Organization), in recognizing China as a market economy, in having signed a trade pact and in having expanded it,” Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz said.
Chile’s top diplomat met on Sunday with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yin, at the 2nd Meeting of Ministers of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and China, being held on Monday in Santiago with 31 countries and 25 foreign ministers in attendance.
“We have discussed the enormous advances we’ve made in the economic area. Trade relations between the two countries amount to more than $34 billion. That’s more than 17 percent more than last year,” Muñoz said, according to a statement released Monday by the Foreign Ministry.
After the meeting, at which the main aspects of the bilateral relationship were discussed, Muñoz emphasized the areas of agreement between the two countries and said that relations with the Asian giant “will continue to expand.”
“We’re supporters of multilateralism and of cooperating to confront common problems such as climate change and natural disasters,” he said.
He also emphasized the importance of “cooperation and dialogue” in dealing with complex problems “such as that of North Korea and its nuclear weapons, or ... the crisis ... in Venezuela.”
Muñoz said that “China is on the verge of becoming the world’s main economic power” and is “playing a very constructive role in confronting” complicated world issues.