BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- China and Latin America, two great civilizations, are embracing each other despite geographical distances in an effort to enhance their comprehensive cooperation.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's just-concluded week-long tour in Latin America has deepened China's relations with the continent and laid the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit planned for later this year.
The upcoming trip will be Xi's second to the continent as Chinese president in more than one year, which demonstrates the new Chinese leadership values China-Latin America relations, an integral part of the Chinese government's overall diplomatic balance.
FRUITS OF WANG'S VISITS
Economic and trade cooperation was highlighted during Wang's visits to not only such regional giants as Argentina and Brazil, but also such traditional friendly countries as Cuba and Venezuela.
"What affects me most during the trip is that China and Latin America are highly complementary in their development. They are natural cooperative partners and can realize common development and prosperity," Wang said in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, before he ended his trip.
Wang said China was seeking to invest in infrastructure projects -- chiefly roads, railways and power stations. He stressed China's interest to set up a fund to increase investment in infrastructure-lacked Latin America.
"There is great potential for further oil cooperation with Latin America. We'd like to set up long-term partnerships, especially with Venezuela and Brazil," Wang said.
After talks with Wang on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela hoped to export as much as a million barrels a day to China, which would make China Venezuela's top oil buyer. The two countries are already in talks to achieve that goal.
Venezuelan government data showed in the first four months of 2013, the country exported 626,000 barrels of oil a day to China.
In Buenos Aires, China and Argentina agreed to expand trade and cooperation on major projects in such areas as agriculture, infrastructure construction, energy, science and technology and finance.
Argentine newspaper Clarin said the Argentine government is expecting China to invest 4.7 billion U.S. dollars in a hydroelectric project and 2.4 billion dollars in a railway project.
China is also interested in another hydroelectric project in Neuquen in central Argentina, and is bidding for it, the report said.
In the Cuban capital of Havana, Wang urged Cuba and China, Cuba's number two economic partner after Venezuela, to translate the strength of their high-level political relationship into concrete results of mutually beneficial cooperation and further exchange their governing experience.
He also called for enhanced bilateral cooperation in such key areas as trade, investment, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and mining, saying the two sides need to foster new growth points in cooperation in tourism, renewable resources and bio-technology.