By Yin Hang
BEIJING, Nov. 5 (ChinaMil) -- General Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), met with foreign representatives attending the Fourth China-Latin America High-level Defense Forum in Beijing on November 2, 2018.
General Wei Fenghe, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, met with the visiting Bolivian Defense Minister Javier Zavaleta and Michael Soto, Minister of Public Security in Costa Rica, at the forum respectively on the same day.
During his joint meeting with foreign representatives, Gen. Xu Qiliang said that although China and Latin America are far apart from each other, their friendly exchanges have had a long history. Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Latin America for three times in recent years, and China-Latin America relations have entered a period of comprehensive and rapid development. China and Latin American countries are developing countries with similar stages and concepts of development, so both can provide development opportunities for each other. China is willing to work with Latin American countries to deepen mutual political trust, dock their development strategies, share cooperation results, and jointly push China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new level.
General Xu said that in recent years China has carried out proactive and pragmatic military exchanges and cooperation with Latin American countries, and the China-Latin America High-level Defense Forum has become an increasingly mature platform mechanism. He hopes both sides will work together to continuously innovate cooperation models, expand the breadth and depth of their cooperation, and promote parallel development of China-Latin America military relations and bilateral military relations between China and certain Latin American country.
Speaking on behalf of foreign representatives, Bolivian Defense Minister Javier Zavaleta said that Latin American countries and China are peace-loving countries, and they share the same values in various aspects.
Latin American partners highly agree with the Chinese concept of a community of shared future for mankind and the Belt and Road Initiative. As such, they are willing to work with China to continuously deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and promote the construction of a new order of mutual benefit and coexistence for mankind, he said.
When meeting with Javier Zavaleta, Gen. Wei Fenghe said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1985, China-Bolivia relations have developed smoothly. Both China and Bolivia are developing countries, and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation is in the fundamental interests of both peoples. The Chinese military is willing to work together with its Bolivian counterpart to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, continue to strengthen exchanges between defense departments and military leaders, deepen cooperation in the field of personnel training, and raise the relationship between the two militaries to a higher level.
Javier Zavaleta said that Bolivia thanks China for its strong support for the construction of Bolivian military forces. Bolivia is willing to work with China to further expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two militaries and promote the continuous development of relations between the two countries and the two militaries.
When meeting with Michael Soto, Minister of Public Security in Costa Rica, Wei Fenghe said that Costa Rica was the first Central American country to establish diplomatic relations with China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, relations between the two countries have developed rapidly; high-level exchanges have been close; political mutual trust has been strengthened; and cooperation in various fields has made positive progress.
The Chinese side has a positive attitude toward deepening the bilateral defense and security relationships, and is willing to work with Costa Rica to strengthen cooperation in the areas of group exchanges and personnel training to build a closer strategic partnership between China and Costa Rica, he said.
Michael Soto said that Costa Rica is a peace-loving country and has had no military for more than 70 years. Costa Rica hopes to carry out proactive and pragmatic cooperation with China in areas including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling, and jointly build a beautiful homeland, he said.