China and Chile should connect their development strategies and promote interconnectivity between Chile and other Latin American countries, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

President Xi made the remark while meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. President Pinera is on a five-day state visit and planned to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Premier Li Keqiang also met with him on Wednesday.

President Xi said Chile is the first South American country to have established diplomatic relations with China, and the first Latin American nation to fully acknowledge China’s status as a market-oriented economy.

President Xi said that Chile, the first Latin American country to have signed a bilateral free trade agreement with China and to have upgraded the agreement, is an important cooperation partner in jointly building the Belt and Road.

The two countries should take the opportunity to jointly build the Belt and Road, deepen mutual political trust and pragmatic cooperation and promote the development of the China-Chile comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, Xi said.

The two countries should promote the upgrading of bilateral trade and investment and enhance cooperation in such areas as minerals, clean energy, information technology, e-commerce, innovation and scientific research on the Antarctic, he said.

President Xi called on the two countries to make joint efforts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of China-Chile diplomatic ties next year and promote people-to-people exchanges.

China supports Chile’s hosting of the United Nations climate change conference and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic leaders’ meeting this year, President Xi said.

Xi added that the two countries should jointly promote the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone and maintain the multilateral trading system.

He said China and Latin American countries should support each other, make full use of their complementary advantages and achieve win-win cooperation. The two sides should pursue common development and jointly build a community with a shared future for China and Latin America, Xi added.

The Chilean President said the Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi, has shown the glorious history of the ancient Silk Road and promoted exchanges between different cultures in the new era.

Chile supports the building of the Belt and Road, and it hopes to learn from China’s experience in innovative and green development, he said.

President Pinera said Chile, which is dedicated to maintaining multilateralism and the multilateral trading system, would like to enhance coordination with China on regional and multilateral affairs.

With the two Presidents as witnesses, China and Chile signed a number of cooperation documents after the talks.

According to Chilean Ambassador Luis Schmidt, the two countries on Wednesday secured a deal to open the Chinese market to Chilean pears. He said he is expecting the first pear exports to China to take place soon.