BRASILIA, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Latin America has witnessed a more stable and robust development in recent years thanks to its relationship with China, say Brazilian political and economic observers.
Before China's top legislature and top political advisory body hold their annual plenary sessions in early March to outline the country's future political and economic course, the experts spoke with Xinhua about the mutually beneficial relationship between China and Latin America.
EXPANDING MUTUAL INTEREST
With closer South-South cooperation between the two sides, Latin America has reduced its over-reliance on developed nations, which have kept an upper hand in their relations with the continent, the observers noted.
"China's presence in Latin America has had two effects: firstly, impacting economic growth and development; and secondly, changing the axis of alliances," said economist Jose Luiz Pagnussat, a member of the Federal Council on the Economy.
"Ties with China allowed Latin American countries to redesign their system of alliances on the world stage," he explained.
Today, as China's investment in the region grows and bilateral trade exchange increases, their mutual interest is also expanding, according to Pagnussat.
STRONGER POLITICAL TIES
The vitality of cross-border trade inevitably strengthens political ties, Pagnussat said, citing the commercial ties between Brazilian soy growers and Chinese processors as an example.
"That ultimately expands not just trade, but also the establishment of alliances on an international scale, which is a very positive development," he said.
Given the current strong tendency toward protectionism and isolationism, especially since Donald Trump took over the U.S. presidency, China's willingness to forge political and trade partnerships presents a significant alternative, he said.
When countries close off their economies, it has a negative impact on global economic growth, noted the economist, while stressing the importance of China's role in championing economic openness.
In the eyes of Argemiro Procopio, a professor emeritus of international relations at the University of Brasilia, China-Latin America ties are at a new high following Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to Ecuador, Peru and Chile in November last year.
The ties will further improve as China transforms its economy from an export-driven one to one that is fueled by domestic consumption, said Procopio, who has authored books on China.
"The ongoing development in China implies greater stability for the country and also for its trade partners, in addition to raising the living standards of Chinese citizens," Procopio noted.
What's more, he said, great potential exists in China-Latin America cooperation in the fields of education, culture as well as science and technology.
"Economic reforms in China center on increasing productivity, efficiency, scientific knowledge and competitiveness. For Latin America, that offers great possibilities for technological cooperation," he said.
Speaking about the upcoming meetings of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, known as the "two sessions," Pagnussat suggested that Latin Americans follow them with interest since any outcome will affect the global economy.
Decisions made by China carry great weight on a global scale, especially "when you look at China's trade volume, which represents a very large share of world trade," Pagnussat said.