Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcome ceremony for his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday held talks with his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri, with the two sides agreeing to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas and further promote bilateral ties.
Xi called for dovetailing the Belt and Road Initiative with Argentina's development strategy, expanding cooperation in industries such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, mining and manufacturing, and implementing existing major cooperation projects such as in hydro-power and railway fields.
Hailing Argentina's support and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi stressed that Latin America is the natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
China stands ready to expand cooperation with Latin America, including aligning their development strategies through the Belt and Road Initiative, and jointly building a community of shared future, Xi said.
The two sides signed cooperation documents on agriculture, culture, education, energy, finance, investment, quarantine and inspection, railways and sports.
Argentina expressed willingness to apply for membership of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, increasing financing options for its public infrastructure facilities, according to a joint statement released after the talks.
Both countries signed a MOU on football cooperation which will provide increased support for football training in China, said Zhu Qingqiao, director of Latin American affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Argentina diplomatic ties. Xi called for a series of cultural activities to be held to celebrate the anniversary and said the two sides should cement exchanges and cooperation in Antarctic affairs, culture, education, football, judiciary, law-enforcement, technology, tourism and youth affairs.
He also stressed that the two sides should continue to enhance political mutual trust and provide mutual support to issues concerning their core interests.
Strengthening cooperation between China and Argentina, both G20 members and important emerging economies, not only serves the interests of the two countries and two peoples, but also promotes world prosperity and stability, Xi said.
China stands ready to maintain coordination with Argentina on such international issues as global economic governance, climate change, the 2030 sustainable development agenda and support Argentina to host the G20 summit next year, Xi said.
Macri, currently on a state visit to China from from May 14 to 18, attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that concluded on Monday.
Macri congratulated Xi on the success of the forum, saying that Argentina is committed to further promoting bilateral ties and advancing mutually beneficial cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and trust.
He said Argentina upholds the one-China policy and pledged to work to deepen ties between Latin America and China and increase communication and coordination on international affairs.
This is the third meeting between Xi and Macri over the past one year, they had previously met on the sidelines of the G20 Hangzhou summit last September and the fourth Nuclear Security Summit last April.
When meeting with Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday, Macri said Argentina welcomes investment by Chinese businesses and is willing to promote trade relations between the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and China.
China supports economic integration in Latin America and will work with regional countries, including Argentina, to advance China-Latin America relations and contribute to regional and world peace and stability, Li said.
China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang also met with Macri Wednesday. Zhang hailed the friendly exchanges between the National People's Congress and Argentine congress and called for more exchanges between political parties, localities, cultural groups and media.