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China and Uruguay upgrade ties as leaders meet in Beijing

Xi tells Biden China 'will not sit idly by' on tech restrictions: state media
Source: Video Screenshot

China upgraded diplomatic ties with Uruguay on Wednesday, state media reported, as President Xi Jinping met counterpart Luis Lacalle Pou in Beijing.

China is Uruguay’s largest trading partner, in line with Beijing’s steadily growing influence in Latin America, where it has poured billions of dollars of investment into infrastructure.

“The strategic partnership between China and Uruguay has been elevated,” Xi said according to state broadcaster CCTV, as he announced the establishment of a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.

China has targeted Latin America as part of its global quest for natural resources, with many countries joining China’s decade-old Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project.

On Wednesday the Uruguayan presidency said Xi and Lacalle Pou had agreed to “continue efforts to accelerate the construction of a Free Trade Association” between the two countries.

Uruguay is part of South American trade bloc Mercosur along with Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Montevideo’s desire to negotiate a commercial deal with China independently has in the past sparked opposition from fellow members and even rumours that the bloc could break up.

Brazil has recently reaffirmed strong ties with China under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

But Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei had threatened to cut ties with China during his campaign, and Paraguay maintains diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

On Wednesday Xi said he was committed to making China-Uruguay relations “a model of solidarity and cooperation”, CCTV reported.

In remarks made in front of media, Lacalle Pou said he wanted to deepen the “multidimensional relationship” even further, observing that his country had strengthened its diplomatic presence in China recently.

He said Uruguay was taking steps to join the New Development Bank, an institution founded by the BRICS emerging economies headquartered in Shanghai.

He also invited Xi to Uruguay next year.

More than 20 cooperation agreements were signed in the two leaders’ presence, Montevideo said, including plans to establish a joint laboratory in the cutting-edge field of bio-nano pharmaceuticals.

The Uruguayan government said the commercial cooperation agreements signed Wednesday could increase agricultural exports by $750 million.



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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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