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Deals Strengthen Sino-Mexican Ties

A series of economic, social, cultural, scientific, communications and agricultural agreements between China and Mexico were signed in Beijing on Tuesday during the inaugural conference of a permanent Sino-Mexican commission.

The founding ceremony of the permanent bi-national commission was held on Monday, with visiting Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista and his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing in attendance.

The two-day conference of the commission, which closed Tuesday, included four subcommittee meetings covering politics, trade and economics, science and technology, and education and culture.

President Hu Jintao applauded the establishment of the permanent commission between the two governments and the success of its first conference when he met Derbez at the Great Hall of the People. He indicated that strengthening friendly bilateral cooperation would benefit the two countries' socioeconomic development.

One of the agreements inked on Tuesday was a civil aviation transport agreement, which will provide the legal framework for future air transport cooperation between the two countries. It is viewed as one of the greatest achievements of the conference.

According to a joint statement issued after the signing, each country can designate two airlines to operate flights between two destinations with no limits on the number of flights. Direct flights between the two countries may open within this year, according to Wang Ronghua, director of the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

He said that CAAC would encourage domestic airlines to operate on the China-Mexico routes, benefiting from Mexico's large number of air routes in South America.

After a three-day visit to Beijing, Derbez said that he would accompany a group of Mexican entrepreneurs on a visit to Shanghai, China's financial hub, to seek more investment opportunities.

(China Daily August 18, 2004)

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