China, Costa Rica agree to enhance cooperation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Costa Rican counterpart Laura Chinchilla agreed Monday to enhance communication and cooperation between the two countries for further development of bilateral ties.

Chinese President Xi Jinping(L) shakes hands with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla during their talks in San Jose, Costa Rica, June 3, 2013. [Rao Aimin/Xinhua] 

Chinese President Xi Jinping(L) shakes hands with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla during their talks in San Jose, Costa Rica, June 3, 2013. [Rao Aimin/Xinhua] 

In talks with Chinchilla, Xi said China-Costa Rica relations, although only six years old, have achieved sound development, adding the closer ties are proven to be in the fundamental interests of both countries and their people.

The China-Costa Rica relationship is in a position to become a paradigm of cooperation between countries of different size and national condition, he said.

Chinchilla said the two countries, since the establishment of bilateral relations, have witnessed frequent high-level exchanges and fruitful results in cooperation in various fields, which brought tangible benefits to both sides.

Costa Rica wants to deepen mutual trust, cooperation and friendship with China, she said, adding she wish the Chinese people make new achievements in realizing the Chinese dream.

The two presidents reached comprehensive consensus and agreed on a four-point proposal to promote bilateral cooperation.

Firstly, China and Costa Rica should enhance high-level exchanges between the governments, legislatures and political parties to consolidate mutual trust. They should continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning their core interests, the two leaders said.

Secondly, the two countries agreed to push forward pragmatic cooperation. They should expand the scope, optimize the structure and enlarge the size of bilateral trade under the framework of the free trade agreement.

China supports Costa Rica in constructing a special economic zone, while Costa Rica welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest on its soil. The two countries would also mull cooperation in the area of clean energy.

Thirdly, China and Costa Rica agreed to deepen cooperation in such domains as culture, education, sports and tourism. They agreed to strengthen youth and local-level exchanges and implement projects related to overseas study and the Confucius Institutes.

China will continue to provide personnel training for Costa Ricans, while the Latin American country will simplify visa procedure for the Chinese to facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

Fourthly, the two countries agree to enhance cooperation on the world arena and strengthen communication and coordination on major issues including climate change and sustainable development.

They should push forward democracy in international relations and jointly safeguard the interests of developing countries as a whole.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the relations between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries. They agreed to work for the establishment of a China-Latin America cooperation forum and support each other to host China-Latin America agriculture ministers' forum within this year.

Costa Rica, to take up rotating chair of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States next year, would play an active role in promoting the overall cooperation between Latin America and China.

China and Costa Rica, both developing countries at a similar stage of development, face common tasks in developing economy and improving people's livelihood, Xi told reporters at a joint press conference with Chinchilla after their talks.

True friendship can stand the test of geographic distance, Xi said, expressing the belief that the young generation of the two countries will carry on the China-Costa Rica friendship.

For her part, Chinchilla said Xi's visit deepened friendship and cooperation between China and Costa Rica, and her country believed that the two would enjoy an even vaster space for development.

Also on Monday, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan received the Key to San Jose, capital of Costa Rica.

San Jose Mayor Johnny Araya described the key as the highest honor awarded to foreign guests by his city.

Xi said the key embodies the friendship from the Costa Ricans, calling for more exchanges at local levels to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

Local-level exchanges are an important platform for bilateral cooperation, Xi said, adding China wants to cooperate with San Jose, a well-known garden city, in green technologies and environmental protection.

Costa Rica is the second leg of Xi's three-nation Latin American tour, which began with Trinidad and Tobago and is to end with Mexico.

Afterwards, he will fly to the U.S. state of California to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama.

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