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Embajador Wang Gang publica artículo en diario China Daily
2019/10/25

El 25 de octubre de 2019, con motivo de la celebración del 70° aniversario de la fundación de la República Popular China y el 60° aniversario de la amistad parlamentaria Uruguay-China, el diario China Daily publicó un artículo titulado "Bosom friend afar brings a distant land near" del Excmo. Sr. Wang Gang, Embajador de China en Uruguay.

He aquí el texto completo:

Sixty years ago, no country in the entire Americas had diplomatic contact with the People's Republic of China. Then, in October 1959, a delegation from Uruguay led by its House of Representatives Speaker Francisco Rodriguez Camusso visited Beijing.

Then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai cordially greeted the Uruguayan guests and the two peoples ushered in a new chapter of friendly exchanges.

Montevideo is the most distant capital from Beijing, but that has not stopped Uruguay being a good friend of China. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1988, the two sides have always adhered to the principle of mutual respect, equality, and win-win cooperation and stability is the biggest feature of China-Uruguay relations.

Uruguay's area can be compared to that of China's Guizhou province, but its population is only one-tenth of the latter. It is one of the countries with the largest per capita cultivated land in the world. Land is mostly rolling plains with exuberant grass and pleasant climate, ideal for developing animal husbandry.

The country also has abundant fisheries and water resources. Uruguay is located at the mouth of the La Plata River, the world's widest, and its capital, Montevideo, is endowed with a 13-meter deep port, favorable for trade with the Mercosur (Southern Common Market) members.

In October 2016, President Tabare Ramon Vazquez Rosas paid a state visit to China and together with Chinese President Xi Jinping, announced the establishment of the China-Uruguay strategic partnership. Bilateral relations have since entered the best period in history and the two countries have created a good example for South-South cooperation.

During the Spring Festival this year, President Vazquez recorded a video sending blessings to President Xi and the Chinese people. Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa has visited China three times in eight months, making some people joke that he has visited China more frequently than his hometown of Cerro Largo.

The trade structure of the two countries is highly complementary. In the early days, China-Uruguay relations hinged on wool. Thirty-one years later, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has expanded from wool to include commodities such as beef, soybeans and pulp.

Since 2012, China has been Uruguay's largest trading partner and its largest export market.

In 2018, the trade volume between China and Uruguay reached $4.62 billion, of which China's exports to Uruguay were $2.07 billion and imports $2.56 billion. Overall, the absolute trade volume with China was not high, but given that it is a country with only 3.5 million people, the per capita trade volume with China ranks high.

Its per capita exports to China and imports from China even exceeded those of Mexico and Argentina. This also reflects the friendly relations between China and Uruguay and the openness of Uruguay's market.

As President Xi said, civilizations can become richer and more colorful with exchanges and mutual learning. Over the past year or so, various forms of people-to-people exchanges have taken place under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese embassy in Uruguay has held monthly cultural events.

Several art troupes came to Uruguay to present wonderful performances. Chinese artists brought their Chinese style artworks to the famous Torres Garcia Museum. Qingdao Peking Opera company and Gannan Normal University Art Troupe has visited Uruguay. And Chinese Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe is also due to visit in the coming days. These are great opportunities to promote Chinese culture through art forms such as music, dance, opera, painting and calligraphy.

At the end of 2017, the first Confucius Institute was unveiled at the University of the Republic of Uruguay. At present, two Chinese teachers and some Chinese volunteers are teaching Chinese at two secondary schools in Uruguay. The People's Republic of China Primary School in Uruguay has sent a group of teachers and students to visit China for two consecutive years.

The increasingly active bilateral cultural exchanges have enhanced mutual understanding between the two peoples and brought the hearts of the peoples closer.

In Latin America, Uruguay took the lead in supporting the Belt and Road Initiative. Last year, on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Uruguay, it became the first Mercosur country to sign a memorandum of understanding on Belt and Road cooperation with China. This demonstrates its willingness to comprehensively deepen ties with China.

The close relations will further strengthen policy communication between the two governments and give play to the role of the political consultation between the two foreign ministries, the bilateral joint economic and trade committee, and the joint science and technology committee.

Thanks to its geographical position, Uruguay has the potential to become an important logistics hub in the region. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China, with its large-scale infrastructure construction experience, can offer it technical and financial support to develop its infrastructure.

The first things that come to mind whenever Chinese people talk about Uruguay, are football and the famous GATT Uruguay Round negotiation. Uruguay is a small country in South America, but it is a world football power. People are fanatical about football.

Uruguay also boasts a world heritage of Spanish and Portuguese architecture - Colonia del Sacramento, the famous seaside resort of Punta del Este, the heroic high-heeled cowboy and the carnival which is listed by UNESCO as a human intangible cultural heritage.

Uruguay welcomes everyone to enjoy barbecue, tango, mate and red wine Tannat and experience slow-paced and high-quality poetic idyllic life.

A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and Uruguay will carry out more extensive and in-depth cooperation in the fields of trade, agriculture, infrastructure, culture and sports.

With joint efforts on both sides, China-Uruguay relations in the new era will surely be stable and far-reaching and continue to write a glorious chapter of friendship between the two countries!

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