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Chinese envoy says president's Peru visit to open new chapter in ties

2008-11-19 21:35:16 GMT2008-11-20 05:35:16 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LIMA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Peru will open a new chapter in the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries, the Chinese ambassador to Peru said.

Since the establishment of their diplomatic ties 37 years ago, bilateral cooperation in such fields as politics, economy and trade and culture has gone through an all-around development, Ambassador Gao Zhengyue told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The two developing countries, both boasting ancient civilizations, share similar stances on issues like safeguarding independence and national sovereignty, developing national economy and establishing a fair and rational new international political and economic order, the Chinese ambassador said.

Since both countries forged a comprehensive cooperative partnership in 2005, bilateral relations have entered a new phase of development, Gao said.

During Peruvian President Alan Garcia's visit to China in March, the two sides reached broad consensus on promoting the development of the China-Peru comprehensive cooperative partnership.

Both countries have also maintained robust economic and trade cooperation.

China has emerged as Peru's second largest trading partner and export market, and Peru is China's fifth largest trading partner in Latin America and an important investment market destination.

In 2007, two-way trade stood at around 60 billion U.S. dollars and Chinese investment in Peru amounted to 1 billion dollars as of the end of last year.

The two countries have also been working on a free trade agreement aimed at boosting bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

In addition to political and economic cooperation, cultural exchanges have also been strengthened in the past few years, Gao added.

The two countries have signed a series of cooperation documents in areas including culture, education, science and technology and tourism.

Hu arrived in Lima on Wednesday for a state visit to Peru, the first visit by a Chinese head of state to the South American country since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

During his stay in the country, the fourth leg of his five-nation trip, Hu is scheduled to hold talks with President Alan Garcia and address Peru's Congress.

He will also attend the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Lima.

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