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Saturday, November 19, 2016, 17:54

Xi's Peru trip eyes advancing China-LatAm ties

By Xinhua

Xi's Peru trip eyes advancing China-LatAm ties
China's President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan disembark upon arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit on Nov 18, 2016. (AFP / Luka Gonzalez)

LIMA -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Peru Friday to attend the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting and pay his first state visit to the Latin American country.

Prior to the trip, Xi had visited neighboring Ecuador . The APEC meeting is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Peru's capital Lima under the theme of "Quality Growth and Human Development."

In Lima, Xi will deliver a keynote speech at the APEC CEO Summit, hold dialogue with representatives of the APEC Business Advisory Council and meet leaders of some other APEC member economies.

China hopes that the Lima meeting can promote openness and inclusiveness... and continue to implement the outcomes of the Beijing meeting

Li Baodong, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister

This year's APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting comes as the global economy is still struggling to recover, with flagging trade and investment, rising protectionism and fragmented trade rules.

China expects the APEC members to reach new consensus and take new action on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) at the Lima meeting. The FTAAP process was launched at the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing and a roadmap was endorsed. A "collective strategic study" on the FTAAP was conducted subsequently, as agreed by the APEC members, and the result should be reported to the economic leaders by the end of 2016.

"China hopes that the Lima meeting can promote openness and inclusiveness, deepen practical cooperation and continue to implement the outcomes of the Beijing meeting," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong has told reporters.

Raul Salazar, APEC affairs director at the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, believes the FTAAP is necessary.

"This step taken in Beijing ... has forced all the members to face the reality that this is necessary for a number of reasons. Peru holds the position that we need an Asia-Pacific free trade area. It would allow for APEC's work to be deepened and would see free trade agreements proliferate," he said.

Founded in 1989, APEC, grouping 21 members, now accounts for 39 percent of the global population, 60 percent of the global economy and 46 percent of the global trade.

Peru previously hosted the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in 2008. China, which greets its 25th anniversary of joining the influential forum this year, had also hosted the meeting twice -- in 2001 in Shanghai, and in 2014 in Beijing.

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