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Mexico, China celebrate 50 years of friendship

By Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-02-14 09:23
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Visitors look at paintings at the exhibition "China In My Imagination" in Mexico City, Jan 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Mexico and China are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, which began on February 14, 1972.

The official relationship started a few months after the People's Republic of China resumed its seat in the United Nations, with strong support from Mexico.

In this half-century, the links between our two countries have evolved rapidly. We share the aspiration to provide a better life for our societies and to strengthen international cooperation to face global challenges.

For five decades, Mexico and China have worked together to strengthen their bilateral relations.

An important episode occurred in 2013, when a comprehensive strategic partnership was established between the two countries, with the aim of developing the potential of our exchanges in several fields.

In July 2019, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and I agreed to start a new stage of bilateral relations, based on cooperation, which yielded significant results. In the past two years, cooperation between Mexico and China has become more relevant in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the most tangible results is the valuable support received from China in the initial stage of the crisis, which allowed access to medical equipment and supplies for the health sector and the conducting of vaccine clinical trials in Mexico.

Thanks to this support, Mexico has vaccines of Chinese origin, such as those made by CanSino, Sinopharm and Sinovac, along with a productive exchange of experience in the field of pandemic control. Mexico will always remember the solidarity and support of China in the most difficult moments.

Nowadays, China is Mexico's second-largest trading partner worldwide, the third-largest destination for Mexican exports, only after the United States and Canada, and Mexico's second-largest supplier, with exchanges exceeding $100 billion in 2021. Chinese investments in Mexico maintain a growing trend and have enormous potential.

We want to consolidate our trade and investment relationship, and for that purpose we seek to increase capital flows to contribute to sustainable and innovative development as well as the promotion of our exports, mainly in the agri-industrial sector. Mexico has protocols to export to the Chinese market various products of animal and vegetable origin, such as avo-cados, table grapes, raspberries, blackberries, bananas and sorghum, as well as pork, beef and dairy and fish products.

Economic and commercial exchanges entail opportunities and challenges that we seek to conduct constructively and institutionally. The year 2021 concluded with the successful celebration of the ninth annual meeting of the High-Level Business Group China-Mexico, a bilateral mechanism that brings together the business sectors of both countries.

Likewise, Mexico and China have strengthened cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels. In forums such as the G20, which brings together the world's leading economies, both countries have promoted equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, their recognition as a global public good, and the global approval of vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization.

Within the framework of the UN system, Mexico and China currently coincide as members of the Security Council, an opportunity both countries have used to reflect their multilateralist vocation on issues such as poverty reduction, disarmament and nonproliferation.

At the regional level, it is important to highlight the joint work in the Forum of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)-China, carried out during Mexico's pro tempore presidency of CELAC. The forum allowed the exchange of experiences in science, technology and innovation, agriculture, traditional medicine, poverty reduction and development. The efforts successfully culminated with the Third CELAC-China Ministerial Meeting in December.

In an eventual post-pandemic context, we will join efforts to reactivate other areas of our relationship, such as exchanges between students and researchers, tourist flows and contacts between businesspeople, and air connectivity.

Our governments maintain a permanent contact. On the occasion of our celebration of 50 years of friendship, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory letters. Both Mexico and China rejoice over this important moment and reiterate our willingness to continue strengthening bilateral relations as we move forward.

There is no doubt that the future of our bilateral relations will be prosperous, thanks to the solid foundations established throughout these first five decades.

The author is Mexico's minister of foreign affairs.

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