Q: According to foreign media reports, a US senior official said the other day that China is using economic statecraft to pull the Latin American region into its orbit, undermining the economic development and jobs of the countries concerned and enabling Latin American countries to form a long-term dependence on China. What is China's response to this?
A: The relevant allegation from the US side is totally contrary to the facts and shows no respect for the vast number of Latin American countries.
China and Latin American countries are all developing countries, facing the same development stage and development tasks. Based on the common interests and mutual needs, the cooperation between the two sides upholds the concept of equality and mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, and win-win results. China is a major international buyer of Latin American commodities and it is also importing more and more agricultural products and high value-added products from the latter. China-Latin America cooperation in infrastructure construction has played an active role in breaking the bottleneck of development and improving people's livelihood in Latin America. China's investment in and financial cooperation with Latin America is in full accordance with commercial rules and local laws and regulations. According to the International Labor Organization, between 1995 and 2016, Chinese enterprises created 1.8 million jobs in Latin America.
Not long ago, the second ministerial meeting of China-CELAC Forum was successfully held in Chile. Thirty-one countries in Latin America and the Caribbean sent delegations to attend the event, including nine countries that have yet to establish diplomatic relations with China. The three outcome documents-"the Declaration of Santiago", "Joint Action Plan of Cooperation" and "the Special Statement on the Belt and Road Initiative"-adopted at the conference reflect the shared and clear will to jointly promote the optimization and upgrading of cooperation and innovative development under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. This fully shows that Latin American countries have a "steelyard" in their minds-they know what's best for them and there is a high degree of consensus on deepening their cooperation with China.
I would like to reiterate that China's policy on Latin America is transparent and open. China stands ready to continue promoting the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Partnership of Comprehensive Cooperation featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development. China-Latin America cooperation is an integral part of South-South cooperation and benefits the people on the two sides. The development of China-Latin America relations targets and excludes no third party, and does not affect the interests of third parties in Latin America. We hope that the relevant country will abandon the outdated mindset of zero-sum game and correctly view the development of China-Latin America cooperation and China-Latin America relations in an open and inclusive manner.