by Javier Ureta, Dang Qi
SANTIAGO, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The executive secretary of a United Nations economic organization said she's "greatly impressed" by China's progress over the past five years.
"I have been greatly impressed by what President Xi Jinping has done in these five years, placing a great emphasis on the fight against corruption and against poverty," said Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in a recent interview with Xinhua.
She made the remarks as more than 2,200 delegates have gathered in Beijing for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which opened Wednesday.
"China has a great commitment to ... peace, the fight against climate change and the realization of shared prosperity. It has ... shown it with the Belt and Road (Initiative)," said Barcena.
"The Chinese must feel very proud of having a leader who has such clarity, who knows where to take the country and who has also made a great educational shift so new generations can be part of a clear and transparent society," she said.
Barcena also noted that the Chinese president now faces new demands from a society that wants a higher quality of life.
"This plan to refocus Chinese socialism through a political project strikes me as very important to improve quality of life," she added.
Speaking of the relations between China and Latin America, Barcena said the two sides need a new action plan after the current 2015-2019 cooperation plan ends.
"It is crucial to create a 2019-2021 action plan. For this reason, I suggest that ECLAC help to follow up on these agreements as it is important to finalize a series of proposals," she added.
Barcena also called for a new financial initiative between Asia and Latin America for investment and the building of infrastructure.
"It is very important to obtain this mutual help, especially in science, technology and innovation projects. I believe this could be very important. Building a mechanism for infrastructure investments in Latin America with China's help would be a big step," she said.
On the global stage, Barcena highlighted China's important role in combating climate change under the framework of the Paris Agreement.
"China has shown its will and commitment to go beyond the text," said Barcena. "It is more urgent than ever for the rest of the world, with the help of China, to stop climate change, which is growing faster than expected."