November 24, 2023
BEIJING – Presidents witness signing of bilateral cooperation documents at Beijing talks
China and Uruguay upgraded their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership on Wednesday as they pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation in a wider range of fields, particularly on the joint construction of the Belt and Road.
President Xi Jinping and visiting Uruguayan President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou jointly announced the elevation of the countries’ relationship during their talks in Beijing.
The Uruguayan president is on a state visit to China from Monday to Friday. Xi held a grand welcoming ceremony for Lacalle Pou at the Great Hall of the People before their official talks.
The two heads of state witnessed the signing of a Belt and Road cooperation plan and several bilateral cooperation documents in the fields of trade and investment, the digital economy, green development, agriculture, health, education, culture, sci-tech innovation, and customs inspection and quarantine.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Uruguay and the fifth anniversary of Uruguay’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. During the meeting, both presidents hailed the development of bilateral ties in the past decades.
Xi said that China is willing to work with Uruguay to take the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership as a new starting point to enhance bilateral relations and enrich cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries can become an example of unity and cooperation between countries of different sizes, systems and cultures, better serving the development of their respective nations and promoting the well-being of the two peoples, he added.
Xi briefed the Uruguayan president about the Chinese path to modernization, saying that the nation is willing to strengthen exchanges on governance with Uruguay and share development opportunities with it.
He emphasized the need for both countries to take the signing of the Belt and Road cooperation plan as an opportunity to strengthen the alignment of their development strategies, foster new drivers of cooperation in service trade, the digital economy, clean energy and other fields, and promote the high-quality development of China-Uruguay Belt and Road cooperation.
China welcomes more high-quality agricultural and livestock products and high value-added products from Uruguay to enter the Chinese market, and it encourages Chinese companies to invest and develop in Uruguay, he said, adding that China hopes Uruguay will continue to provide a favorable business environment for Chinese companies.
While calling for promoting cultural, people-to-people and sports exchanges between the two countries, Xi said that China is willing to provide more scholarships to Uruguay.
He emphasized that China and Uruguay share similar views on many international and regional issues, and they have extensive consensus and common interests.
Both sides should further strengthen coordination and cooperation in multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, making joint efforts for a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world, he said.
Lacalle Pou said the development of relations between Uruguay and China in the past 35 years has always adhered to the principles of equality, respect and mutual benefit, and the deepening of Uruguay-China relations has become a strong consensus among all sectors of Uruguay and its people.
He said the Uruguayan government recognizes that there is only one China in the world, and peaceful reunification is an internal affair of China that must be decided by the Chinese people.
Noting that Uruguay and China both firmly defend multilateralism, uphold free trade and are committed to promoting world peace and stability, the Uruguayan president said his country looks forward to accelerating free trade cooperation with China and promoting Mercosur, or the Southern Common Market, toward this goal.
Uruguay is willing to play an active role in promoting the development of China-Latin America relations, he added.