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China, Peru launch FTA talks

Xinhua | September 07, 2007

China, Peru launch FTA talks

Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Peruvian President Alan Garcia on Friday and the two leaders agreed to launch bilateral free trade area (FTA) negotiations.

Their meeting took place in Australia’s largest city of Sydney on the sidelines of the 15th Economic Leaders’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Both China and Peru are APEC members.

During their meeting, Hu noted that Peru was among the first Latin American countries to establish diplomatic relations with China.

Bilateral ties have been developing smoothly since the two countries established diplomatic ties 36 years ago, Hu said.

China-Peru ties have entered a new stage of development since the two countries established a comprehensive partnership of cooperation in 2005, Hu said.

High-level exchanges have been frequent, mutual understanding and trust deepened, and economic and trade cooperation expanding, said the Chinese president.

Exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, science and technology, justice and tourism have become closer and the two countries have also maintained sound coordination in regional and international affairs, Hu said.

Developing and strengthening bilateral ties conforms to the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, and is also conducive to peace and development in the region and the world at large, Hu told his Peruvian counterpart.

In efforts to bring bilateral ties to a new height, Hu proposed that the two countries should maintain high-level contacts, enhance political mutual trust and enrich the strategic content of their comprehensive partnership of cooperation.

The two countries should expand trade, deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and launch FTA negotiations, Hu said.

He expressed the hope that China and Peru would sign an FTA agreement at an early date.

The Chinese president also said the two countries should enhance mutual understanding and strengthen cooperation in tourism and language teaching.

"China and Peru should also enhance multilateral cooperation and promote world harmony," Hu said, adding that China is ready to keep close consultation and cooperation with Peru in organizing the 2008 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. Peru will host the APEC meeting next year.

The Peruvian president said his country is developing its relations with China from a long-term perspective.

China’s development is of great significance to Peru, Garcia said, adding that his country wants a close and solid relationship with China and that the two countries should also strengthen cooperation in ports, electricity, mining and tourism.

On the Taiwan issue, Garcia said Peru firmly adheres to the one-China policy. Hu, in reply, expressed appreciation.

Following their meeting, the two leaders attended a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding on strengthening economic and trade ties. The two countries announced the official launch of FTA talks.

Hu arrived in Sydney from Canberra on Wednesday to attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. He was also on a state visit to Australia.

 source: People’s Daily