China-Latin America cooperation is in line with the needs of both sides and is neither directed at third parties nor affected by third parties, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.

While meeting with reporters in the company of his Brazilian counterpart Ernesto Araujo, Wang also said that China pursues all-round diplomacy and is willing to develop friendly and cooperative relations with all countries in the world.

Latin America is a continent full of vigour, and has great potential for cooperation with China. Latin American and Caribbean countries are all developing countries and emerging economies, and they have common interests with China, Wang said.

Wang added that although China and Latin America are far apart, they have carried out long-standing exchanges and maintained friendly relations.

He noted that in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the first leaders’ meeting of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Brazil. The two sides decided to establish a comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development, and announced the establishment of the China-CELAC Forum.

Over the years, with joint efforts by both sides, China-Latin America cooperation has continued to expand and deepen, maintaining a momentum of sound development, and is embarking on a new path of trans-regional cooperation that is in keeping with the trend of the times and meets the interests of all parties, he added.

Wang said the most distinctive feature of China-Latin America cooperation is equality and respect.

He said that China’s cooperation with Latin American friends is marked by treating each other as equals and caring for each other’s core interests, adheres to respecting each other’s choice of political system and development path, and insists on not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, regardless of the size of the country, the similarities and differences between the systems.

Wang said the most substantial connotation of China-Latin America cooperation is common development.

“We are willing to give full play to China’s advantages in the market, capital and industry, and help Latin America to break through the development bottleneck, enhance its independent development capability, and achieve sustainable growth,” he said.

China has signed cooperation agreements with 19 countries in Latin America to jointly build the Belt & Road Initiative, and promote the optimisation, upgrading, innovation and development of China-Latin America cooperation, he added.

Wang said that overall trade between China and Latin America, which has exceeded 300 billion US dollars last year, is balanced and has increased by nearly 25 percent in the first half of this year.

Also, over 2,000 Chinese companies have invested in Latin America, accumulatively creating more than 1.8 million jobs for local people. The cooperation between both sides in the areas of energy, infrastructure construction, agricultural development, automobile manufacturing, and digital cooperation has effectively promoted local economic and social development, bringing visible and tangible benefits to Latin American people.

The most valuable characteristic of China-Latin America cooperation is openness and inclusiveness. The essence of China-Latin America cooperation lies in South-South cooperation, the independent and voluntary choice of both sides, and mutual help, Wang said.

China has never had any geopolitical considerations in Latin America, and neither has it sought to build spheres of influence or participate in so-called strategic games. China-Latin America cooperation is in line with the needs of both parties and is neither directed at third parties nor affected by third parties, Wang said.

Latin American countries are sovereign independent countries. China is happy to see Latin American countries develop relations with other countries and respect the close ties forged in the history of this region, Wang said.

“We believe that the cooperation between different parties and Latin America can be mutually reinforcing, complement each other and promote each other. We are also willing to carry out tripartite and multi-party cooperation on the basis of respecting the will of the countries in the region, and enlarge the area of interests to achieve win-win results,” Wang said.

Wang said that President Xi will visit Latin America for the fifth time in November, which Wang believed will inject new impetus into the development of China-Latin America relations.

Wang said that Brazil is a big Latin American country with global influence. China attaches importance to and supports Brazil’s greater role in regional and international affairs.

“We are also willing to work with Brazil to push for new developments in China-Latin America relations,” he added.