ASIAN News: Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mexican counterpart vowed to work jointly to access international markets…

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mexican counterpart vowed to work jointly to access international markets, like the lucrative US market, as part of a new strategic partnership.

Xi yesterday began his second day of a three-day visit to the Latin American economic powerhouse, which includes a speech before Mexico’s congress.

Xi arrived in Mexico after visiting Costa Rica, and after meeting Caribbean leaders in Trinidad and Tobago.

Tomorrow Xi travels to the US for a much-anticipated weekend summit with US President Barack Obama.

China has in recent years aggressively pushed trade and investment ties with the developing world, particularly Africa and Latin America, to secure raw materials to fuel its economic growth and wield greater geopolitical influence in relation to the US.

 On Tuesday Xi and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto pledged to enhance diplomatic and trade ties between the two countries, and to smooth over their long-standing rivalry on exporting products to the US.

“We expect to broaden investments of Chinese capital in our country,” Pena Nieto told reporters late Tuesday, a move that will create more jobs and make Mexico “an important platform for exports to the countries with which we have free trade agreements.”

Mexico is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), along with the US and Canada.

Xi in turn praised the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries.

In a joint statement Mexico and China agreed to increase talks at various government levels “to deepen mutual trust and conduct bilateral dialogues on strategic issues,” Chinese state news service Xinhua reported.

Closer ties include more co-ordination in forums like the UN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) grouping, Xinhua said.

Mexico also reiterated its support for the “One China” policy.

Mexico said it considers that “Taiwan and Tibet form an integral part of Chinese territory,” and that issues regarding Tibet “are internal Chinese affairs.”

China’s ambassador to Mexico this week told local media that his country delayed permission for Mexican meat exports in 2011 after then-president Felipe Calderon met with Tibet’s Dalai Lama.

Mexican meat exports are one of the issues that the two leaders agreed to review. Mexico and Costa Rica recognise Beijing, but the other six Central American countries maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The two split in 1949 after a civil war.

Pena Nieto capped the day by welcoming Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan late Tuesday to a gala reception at the National Palace, the executive offices located in Mexico City’s storied Zocalo plaza. The reception included performances by top Mexican dancers and a star female ranchera singer.

Earlier in the day Peng, well-known as a soprano in her home country, and Mexico’s first lady, former telenovela star Angelica Rivera, toured a children’s hospital in Mexico City.

Rivera said that China had donated funds to buy it an X-ray machine.

Reported by: Caye Global News, Gulf Times/AFP

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