BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- China and Chile have agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation on a host of issues to step up their comprehensive strategic partnership, according to a joint statement released Monday.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet paid a state visit to China and attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in the past days.
Leaders of the two countries reached broad consensus on bilateral ties, reaffirming their respect for each other's development path and support on major issues relevant to their national interests.
Both countries are supporters of free trade and the positive role of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and are satisfied with the progress made on negotiating upgrades to the FTA, calling for an early conclusion of talks.
The two sides agreed to enhance connectivity, advance cooperation on information communication, high-tech sectors and astronomy. Companies from both countries are encouraged to conduct feasibility research on the trans-Pacific submarine cable connecting the two nations.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of China-Chile diplomatic ties, the two countries agreed to declare 2020 the "China-Chile friendship year," and they will stage a host of commemorative events.
Bachelet said the Belt and Road Initiative plays a critical role in bolstering global cooperation and world trade to make globalization more inclusive and benefit all.
During Bachelet's visit, the two countries signed a series of cooperation pacts on trade and investment, agriculture, quality inspection and the South Pole.
Chile was the first country to establish diplomatic ties with China in South America, as well as the first Latin American country to sign a bilateral accord with China on the latter's accession to the World Trade Organization, and to recognize China's status as a market economy.
It was also the first Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.