by Liu Lianxiang and Zhao Hui
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- As the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Forum opened Monday its second ministerial meeting in Chile, experts said while relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have become strategically more important, the cooperation will be boosted by cultural and social exchanges.
A NEW TYPE OF RELATIONS
Led by President Xi Jinping, China has been seeking to establish a China-style major-country diplomacy characterized by mutual benefit, a shared future, and a fairer system of global governance.
As a key developing region, LAC has become increasingly important in Chinese diplomacy, which has seen Xi visit 10 LAC countries.
Over recent years, the region's cooperation with China has increased, particular under the Belt and Road Initiative.
During Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela's visit to China in November 2017, Panama and China signed a memorandum to jointly promote the initiative.
A month later, Ecuador's request to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was approved, making it the seventh Latin American country to become a member of the multilateral organization promoted by China.
The cooperation and coordination between China and LAC to establish a fairer and equal world order has been strengthened within global multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and World Trade Organization.
"China needs (LAC) as a key partner to ... boost ... a new kind of international relationship," said Sun Yanfeng, deputy director of the Department of Latin American Studies at the Beijing-based China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. "Both sides (are willing) to deepen cooperation to reform unfairness."
Chen Yuanting, director of the Department of International Relations at the Institute of Latin American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said the new achievements of the cooperation increased confidence in the second ministerial meeting achieving substantial "strategic consensus".
However, Chen had a caveat. "There is no doubt that China and (LAC) will be positive forces for a new kind of international relations, but in order to achieve that, cultural and social exchanges need to become the new basis of bilateral cooperation," Chen added.