From November 11 to 23, 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao made a state visit to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba and attended the 12th Informal Summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Santiago, Chile. On November 25, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing who accompanied Hu Jintao during the visit said to the accompanying journalists that President Hu's visit to Latin America reaches the goal of expanding consensus, enhancing mutual trust, exploring cooperation and seeking common development. This visit makes the following outstanding achievements.
I. This visit lays a new foundation, opens up a new situation and injects new vitality into the development of China-Latin America traditional friendly ties. This trip is President Hu's first visit to Latin America as the head of state. During the state visit to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba, he respectively attended nearly a hundred activities including talks, meetings, speeches and surveys, which feature enriched content and score remarkable effects.
(I) President Hu held candid and in-depth talks with the leaders of the four countries on consolidating the traditional friendship and strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in the new situation. The two sides deepen political mutual trust and expand the consensus of enhanced cooperation. President Hu declared with President Lula that both sides will replenish and deepen China-Brazil strategic partnership, determined together with President Kirchner the launch and development of China-Argentine strategic partnership, decided with President Lagos to upgrade China-Chile all-round cooperative partnership and confirmed with President Fidel Castro to continuously consolidate and develop China-Cuba traditional friendly cooperation. All this lays a solid foundation for China to develop long-term and stable all-round friendly cooperation with the four countries.
(II) China takes new steps in economic and trade cooperation with the four countries and China's market economy status is acknowledged by more countries. President Hu held in-depth discussions with the leaders of the four countries on how to expand mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation, briefed on the development of China's market economic system and engaged broadly with the business communities of the four countries. China and the four countries signed 39 cooperation documents involving trade, investment, aviation, aerospace, tourism and education. Brazil, Argentina and Chile declared the acknowledgement of China's market economy status and China and Chile take the lead in launching bilateral free trade negotiation. Peru actively declared that it recognizes China's market economy status. All this will strongly push for mutually beneficial cooperation on an equal footing between China and the above-mentioned countries in the trade and investment areas so as to open up broad prospects for both sides to explore new cooperation areas.
(III) This visit defines the objective and orientation for expanding and deepening China-Latin America ties in the new situation. On different occasions especially when he delivered the important speech to the Brazilian Parliament, President Hu comprehensively expounded China's policy towards Latin America and the great significance of strengthening China-Latin America cooperation in the current context, drew the blueprint of developing China-Latin America all-round friendly cooperation and proposed the initiative on further improving China-Latin America overall cooperative mechanism, which are of far-reaching significance.
II. This visit helps to make new proposals and illustrate new ideas and actively guides the Asia-Pacific cooperation process. To maintain the momentum of economic recovery and promote the sustained and balanced economic development are important challenges faced by the international community. At the Informal APEC Summit, Hu raised proposals on strengthening regional cooperation from a macroscopic and strategic perspective and appealed to push for the APEC trade and investment liberalization and the economic and technological cooperation process. He also proposed to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation and create a peaceful and stable regional environment. Given the outstanding energy issue currently, President Hu put forward the cooperation initiative on energy security to promote the stability of the world energy market and declared China will establish ''Asia-Pacific Finance, Economics and Development Center''. President Hu's related initiatives reflect the momentum of development of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, play an active role in deepening such cooperation and win warm support from all the members.
When talking about the anti-terrorism issue, President Hu emphasized that the APEC should keep taking economic and trade cooperation as priority and can conduct anti-terrorism cooperation by approaching from capacity building. This stance reflects the aspiration of most members, demonstrates the direction of related APEC cooperation and safeguards the healthy development of this organization.
III. Through this visit, China carries out high-level diplomacy featuring high density and fast pace on multi-lateral occasions, makes broad contacts with personnel from all social sectors on bilateral occasions, makes friends extensively in an in-depth manner, actively expounds China's internal and external policies and enhances the international community's understanding and support for us.
(Ⅰ) During the visit to the four counties and attending of the Informal APEC Summit, President Hu comprehensively introduced China's economic and social developments time and again and elaborated our grand goal of building a well-off society in an all-round manner and the concept of scientific development. His speech conveys the strong messages that China's economy will realize sustained, rapid and sound development and that China's peaceful development is bringing great opportunities to the world.
(Ⅱ)With regard to the austerity of the current situation across Taiwan Straits, Hu repeatedly pointed out that "Taiwan independence" will ruin tranquility across Taiwan Straits and the risky separatist activities by the Taiwan authorities are the biggest threat to peace and stability across Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region. Such a stance shows the resolute determination of the Chinese government and people to safeguard the national territorial integrity. The leaders of relevant countries all reaffirm adherence to one-China policy and opposition to "Taiwan independence" and China's lofty cause of reunification and principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two system" win increasingly wide support.
(Ⅲ)Within the two days of the APEC meeting, President Hu held bilateral meetings with the heads of state or government from 13 members and exchanged in-depth views on China's cooperation with related counties in varies fields and the consensus they reached will surely exert important impact upon the development of bilateral ties.
Li said "distance cannot separate true friends who feel so close even when they are thousands of miles apart". President Hu's trip to Latin America reaches the expected goal of expanding consensus, enhancing mutual trust, exploring cooperation and seeking common development and is a successful visit with fruitful and tangible results.