BRASILIA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- A cooperation forum between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was founded here Thursday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders from 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries announced the decision after a China-CELAC leaders' meeting in the Brazilian capital.
In a keynote speech to the meeting, Xi said "we will jointly announce the official establishment of the China-CELAC Forum and the decision to hold the forum's inaugural ministerial meeting in Beijing as soon as possible."
"It has been our shared aspiration to have closer overall cooperation," he noted.
The founding of the forum "will have a profound impact on the future development of our relations and send out a strong signal of our commitment to strengthening unity and coordination and promoting South-South cooperation," Xi said.
The second CELAC summit, held in January, adopted the Special Declaration on the Establishment of the China-CELAC Forum, which laid down the important groundwork for the establishment of the forum.
According to Xi, China looks forward to making full use of the platform to carry out collective dialogue on political, economic, trade, people-to-people, social and foreign policy issues, innovate in the form of cooperation, tap the potential, and enhance cooperation in breadth and depth, so that the two sides could complement one another and achieve common development.
"Within the framework of the forum, China looks forward to increasing dialogue and cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations and ensuring the success of the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, thus creating a comprehensive and well-designed network for overall development," Xi added.
The China-CELAC leaders' meeting was held during Xi's state visit to Brazil, the first leg of his ongoing Latin America tour, which will later take him to Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba.
The 33-member CELAC, established in December 2011 in Caracas, Venezuela, comprises all countries in North and South Americas but the United States and Canada.