MONTEVIDEO – China and Uruguay celebrated on Wednesday their 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in an event in Montevideo, which was attended by several prominent political figures from both countries.
Those responsible for receiving the guests were Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Uruguayan counterpart, Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa.
Nin Novoa stressed that this event of celebration was the official start to a list of other commemorative events that “will be happening in different cities of both countries throughout 2018.”
“Thirty years of diplomatic relations mean a gradual evolution and history,” said Nin Novoa, who at the end of his speech gave a medal to his Chinese counterpart as a gift.
Wang Yi said that the medal he received is a symbol, not only of the friendship between the people of both countries, but also of the great importance that the government and the people of Uruguay attributed to their relations with China.
The Chinese Foreign minister also spoke of the role of Uruguayan beef in the Chinese market, stressing that Uruguay is second largest supplier of beef in China, and even joked that Chinese people described the Uruguayan meat in Mandarin as the “meat with a scent that you can smell more than 100 kilometers away.”
Among the guests of the event were Vice President of Uruguay Lucia Topolansky and former Uruguayan presidents, including Julio Maria Sanguinetti (1995-2000) and Jose Mujica (2010-2015).
In reference to the relations between the two countries, Mujica said that China is on its way to being a superpower and despite geographical and cultural distance, China is a key importer of food for Uruguay.
The ex-president also voiced his opposition against a Free Trade Agreement with the Asian country and said that he supported having a customized agreement with China instead.
“I do not like the word FTA, it disgusts me because it is very totalizing and a lie,” Mujica explained. “The world today has free trade to sell you, but not to buy from you.”