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China seeks to boost partnership with Peru

Chinese President Xi Jinping has wrapped up his visit in Peru, his second stop on his tour this week of Latin America. He heads next to Chile. While in Lima, President Xi met with his Peruvian counterpart, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. They agreed to work together on important global issues, such as the environment and free trade.
 
For China, Peru is literally on the other side of the earth, but the country, whose population is one-tenth ethnically Chinese, has enjoyed a longlasting friendship with China in the past decades. And now, it has become China's biggest trading partner in Latin America.
 
During his first visit to Peru, President Xi highlighted the importance of the two countries' ties in a speech to the country's lawmakers.
 
"This year marks the 45th year anniversary since China and Peru established diplomatic ties. Over the years, the bilateral relationship has grown based on sincerity, equality and mutual benefit. We established the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2013. The two-way cooperation has deepened on all fronts ever since," President Xi said.
 
President Xi also pledged a new era of cooperation, signing 18 agreements across a wide spectrum of activities, including mining, energy and infrastructure. These agreements also cover new efforts in fields such as environmental protection, clean energy and information connectivity.
 
And Peru is seeking more.
 
"We hope to tap into new markets in China, especially for agriculture. We are also interested in cooperation on science and technology. Furthermore, cultural exchanges and cooperation in archaeology and climate change are also very important for us," Kuczynski said.
 
Peru is one of China's most zealous partners in its drive to boost world trade in the face of protectionist stirrings -- a key idea President Xi pushed forward during the Lima APEC meeting.
 
During his meeting with Kuczynski, President Xi said China stands ready to work with Peru and other APEC member economies to push the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, or FTAAP, which aims to forge an open economy in the region.
 
"For development at the international and regional level, China wants to participate actively in trade agreements, investments and development in the Pacific. We have to take advantage of development in Brazil and in Latin America and the Caribbean that can propel the global economy towards robust, sustained, advanced and inclusive growth," President Xi said.
 
"Undoubtedly, China is a crucial participant in global trade, and the most important one in the Pacific region. We will support its development and growth. Concerning the building of FTAAP, all related research has been completed. We will form a committee to look into this topic further," Kuczynski said.
 
This year is the China-Latin America Cultural Year. Hundreds of cultural activities have been held on both sides under this framework.
 
China is looking at the long-term in Latin America. Analysts believe, with this trip, China will be raising its profile in this region even more.