Vice President Zeng Qinghong told visiting Chilean Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker Monday afternoon that the Chinese government is ready to further strengthen Sino-Chilean ties.
In their meeting, Zeng spoke highly of the development of Sino-Chilean relations. He noted that among South American nations, Chile is the first to forge diplomatic ties with China, the first to render support to China's resumption of its lawful seat in the United Nations, the first to recognize China's full market economy status and the first to start free trade negotiations with China.
Chile is also the first Latin American nation to sign bilateral agreement with China on its admission into the World Trade Organization, he added.
The five "firsts" demonstrated the continuous growth of Sino-Chilean relations, he said.
He said the two countries kept frequent high-level visits in recent years, adding that the bilateral trade progressed rapidly. Besides, China and Chile cooperate closely with the other in international affairs.
Last year, President Hu Jintao paid successful visit to Chile, Zeng said. The heads of state of the two countries reached consensus on the establishment and development of the "long-term, stable, equal and mutually beneficial" cooperative partnership between China and Chile, he said.
Walker highly appreciated China's achievements in economic and social development, and Chilean-Chinese cooperation in either bilateral or multi-lateral fields.
The friendly cooperation between China and Latin American countries also witnessed vigorous growth, he said, adding that Chile is willing to actively promote the relations between Latin America and China.
Zeng and Walker also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.
Walker arrived in Beijing Sunday for a three-day official visit as guest of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2005)