LA PAZ, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales' state visit to China will bolster strategic bilateral ties and give new impetus to the developing relationship between the two countries, China's ambassador to Bolivia, Liang Yu, said.
The three-day visit on Chinese President Xi Jinping's invitation began Monday.
It will be an opportunity to boost cooperation in a range of areas as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to spur growth through greater trade between regions, Liang said.
In January, at the second ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Forum in Santiago, Chile, Bolivian Foreign Affairs Minister Fernando Huanacuni said his country was eager to take part in the initiative.
Recently, at the Bolivian Foreign Affairs Ministry in La Paz, the Chinese embassy presented details of the first China International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai in November. The event drummed up significant interest in Bolivian business leaders and decision-makers, Liang said.
Cooperation between China and Bolivia will play a more important role in comprehensive Sino-Latin American cooperation as part of the expansion of the Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean, Liang said
China and Bolivia's relationship in the past three decades developed around three key focal points: mutual political trust, economic complementarity, and cultural exchange, the envoy said.
"It has become an important component of South-South cooperation, and a model of equality and solidarity between developing countries," he said.
China has become Bolivia's second largest trading partner while Bolivia is one of China's most important cooperative partners in Latin America.
The two countries' economies are complementary to each other as Bolivia is rich in natural resources and China has advanced technology and financial power, the envoy said.
"Bolivia's high-quality green and organic agricultural products enjoy great potential in the Chinese market," Liang said. "More economic and trade agreements between the two countries will further expand the potential of Bolivian agricultural goods exported to China, and more Bolivian agricultural products will show up on the tables of Chinese consumers."
Ultimately, "the relationship depends on friendly ties between their peoples." That's why cultural and people-to-people exchanges in various fields, including sports and tourism, have been stepped up in recent years, he said.
China helped Bolivia host the 2018 South American Games, training Bolivian athletes and coaches, providing equipment for seven competitions, including table tennis, gymnastics and artistic gymnastics, and offering technical orientation in group gymnastics for the opening and closing ceremonies.
In September 2011, a Confucius Institute to teach the Chinese language and culture opened at the University of San Simon in Cochabamba, central Bolivia.
Bolivia's ancient indigenous civilizations have left a rich cultural heritage that has been drawing a growing number of Chinese travelers. From last year, Bolivia began issuing visas to Chinese tourists on arrival, said Liang.