BUENOS AIRES, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday made a three-point proposal at a video conference with leaders of the South American Common Market (Mercosur) for deepening friendly relations and economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.
First, Wen proposed that the two sides strengthen strategic communication and mutual trust.
Foreign ministers of China and Mercosur states will hold dialogue this year on major international and regional issues and will seek close coordination and cooperation with each other in multilateral fields.
Wen congratulated Brazil on successfully hosting the just-concluded UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Secondly, efforts should be made to deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two sides.
They should earnestly implement various agreements between the two sides. They need to optimize the trade structure and promote the competitiveness of their products and strive to increase bilateral trade to 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, Wen said.
The two sides should also expand mutual investment and financial and technological cooperation, and conduct a feasibility study on a free trade zone pact between China and Mercosur.
Thirdly, Wen proposed efforts to boost people-to-people friendship, expand personnel, tourist, cultural and educational exchanges, and promote mutual understanding so as to lay a solid foundation of popular support for developing bilateral ties.
Wen deemed the video conference a milestone in the history of bilateral relations, saying that China is ready to work with Mercosur states to deal with challenges, promote common development and push their bilateral friendly cooperative ties to a higher level.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said further strengthening cooperation with China is conducive to improving the economic vitality of Mercosur states and provides a rare historic opportunity for the development of Mercosur.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said it is of strategic importance for Mercosur states to strengthen cooperation with China in the current circumstances.
That not only serves the common interests of both sides, but will also have a positive impact on the whole South American region, she said.
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica thanked China for its help and support to Mercosur states and said strengthening cooperation with China on the basis of equality and mutual benefit will help Mercosur states cope with the impacts of the international financial crisis and achieve common development.
At the video conference, the leaders agreed on a joint statement on further booting economic and trade cooperation between China and Mercosur states.