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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Iván Duque Márquez of Colombia

On July 31, 2019, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Iván Duque Márquez of Colombia at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi Jinping pointed out, 40 years ago, the Colombian government, acting on its assessment of the world situation then, made the decision to establish diplomatic relationship with China. Mr. President's father, a member of the then Colombian government, firmly supported the decision and witnessed the start of the relations between the two countries. Today, the baton of the development of China-Colombia relations has been passed over to you and me. Your visit to China this time is a way to demonstrate your strong commitment to enhancing the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Colombia, which I highly appreciate. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Colombian side, at the important timing of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship, jointly draw the blueprint for future development to elevate China-Colombia relations to a new high.

Xi Jinping emphasized, China and Colombia should intensify high-level exchanges, exchange experience in state governance and administration, deepen political mutual trust, and enhance mutual understanding and mutual support. The Chinese side will continue to support Colombia in advancing the peace process and post-conflict reconstruction. The two countries should tap into the full potential of bilateral practical cooperation, consolidate cooperation in traditional areas and explore the new areas. The Colombian side is welcome to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative to realize the alignment of the two countries' development strategies. Both countries should advance exchanges and cooperation in the fields of justice and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, draw the two peoples closer, and reinforce the foundation of friendship. The two sides should jointly safeguard the current international system with the United Nations as its core, promote the reform of the global governance system, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

Xi Jinping pointed out, boasting enormous development potential and broad prospects, Latin American and Caribbean countries are a force which cannot be ignored in the international arena. The Chinese side has always respected the rights of the Latin American people to independently choose their own development path, and supported Latin America in accelerating its integration process, properly dealing with regional issues such as the Venezuelan issue through dialogue and consultation and safeguarding regional peace and stability. The Chinese side is willing to continue to play a role in promoting peace talks, and maintain communication with the Colombian side. China-Latin America cooperation is essentially part of South-South cooperation. It is based entirely on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Latin American side to promote the mechanism building of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and build the China-Latin America community with a shared future.

Iván Duque Márquez expressed warm congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He said, I fully admire President Xi Jinping's outstanding leadership and important international influence, and hope to learn China's experience in state governance and administration. Colombia and China will soon embrace the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship. I hope that this visit will promote the further development of bilateral relations and propel bilateral cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, energy, infrastructure, connectivity, digital economy and creative industries. Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in Colombia. It is believed that every bilateral cooperation project between Colombia and China will be a support for the Colombian peace process and will help Colombia's economic and social development. The Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping is of great significance to facilitate world connectivity and international cooperation. The Colombian side stands ready to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and looks forward to better guiding bilateral cooperation in the future through the integration of the two countries' development strategies. The Colombian side values Chinese side's constructive role in international and regional affairs, and hopes the Chinese side will continue to play such a role in this regard. The Colombian side is ready to maintain communication with the Chinese side, and is willing to make positive efforts to promote the development of Latin America-China relations.

After the talks, the leaders of the two countries witnessed the signing ceremony of a number of bilateral cooperation documents.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony for Iván Duque Márquez at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Yang Jiechi, Zhang Chunxian, Wang Yongqing, He Lifeng and others were present.

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