In the last of the multiple historic summits which took place in Brasilia this week, heads of state and special representatives of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and Chinese President Xi Jinping, met on Thursday afternoon to discuss what every sane nation in the world yearns for: deepening their relations on the basis of “equality and mutual benefit, reciprocal cooperation and common development.”
Represented were the Presidents of Brazil and China, current members of CELAC’s leadership Quartet (Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, and Antigua and Barbuda), and all of the rest of South America.
The Joint Declaration issued out of their private meeting forcibly reaffirmed the principles upon which the United States was founded, but which it has betrayed, under the successive Bush/Cheney and Obama governments.
Announcing their agreement to found a China-Latin American-Caribbean Forum, which a mandate to draw up a 2015-2019 Chinese-Latin American-Caribbean Cooperation Plan, these nations opened with a forceful statement of their commitment to play an active role together in establishing a world order based on the premises which underlie the Treaty of Westphalia. They declared:
“Reaffirming our unrestricted respect for the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter, international law, the peaceful solution of controversies, international cooperation for development, the prohibition of the use and threat of use of force, self-determination, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, the State of Law, and the protection and promotion of all human rights….”
“Reiterating steadfast mutual support in exploring development paths appropriate to national conditions….
“1. We agree that our relationship is an important opportunity for mutual development, since Latin America and the Caribbean and China, as developing countries, confront common development tasks and global challenges. We announce the establishment of a broad partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development between China and Latin America and the Caribbean, looking to increasing the level of cooperation on diverse matters.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reported in a press conference following the meeting that Xi had proposed three different funding mechanisms:
* A specific fund to finance infrastructure projects, to start at $10 billion and rise to $20 billion; this would be down immediately, so that it can be functional by next year;
* A preferential credit line for CELAC, from within a Chinese bank, which could be as large as $10 billion; and
* A Sino-Latin American-Caribbean Cooperation Fund of $5 billion for investment in areas as yet to be defined.
The declaration’s formulation on these funds and projects marks a radical departure from IMF/World Bank conditionalities. For example, they wrote:
“3. … We take note that China invited the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to play an active role in establishing the China-Latin America and Caribbean Development Fund, and to make good use of the concessionary loans granted by China, in accord with the necessities and priorities of the recipient countries.
“4. … We stress the importance of building and modernizing infrastructure, such as railroads, highways, ports, airports and telecommunications, and the efforts to make good use of the Sino-Latin American-Caribbean Special Loans for Infrastructure.”
The declaration also contains a statement in clear support for Argentina, in its fight with the vulture funds:
“14. We emphasize that guaranteeing that agreements reached between debtors and creditors, in the context of sovereign debt restructurings, is essential for the stability and predictability of the international financial architecture.”
Chinese President Points to a New Trajectory for Latin America
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in an address to the Brazilian National Congress on July 16, laid out a perspective for Latin America to free themselves from the straitjacket of the London-dominated financial system. Xi praised the 40-year relationship that China has had with Brazil, and praised the countries of Latin America in their determination to follow their own paths in developing their economies.
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Xi said that the development in the world is generally pointing in the right direction, pointing to greater technological development, greater cooperation, cultural diversity, the creation of a multipolar world, and the general desire in the world for peace. “At the same time,” Xi warned, “the world is full of instability. The international financial crisis has a profound global influence. The uncertain, unstable elements in the world economy are increasing. The imbalance in global development is escalating. Hegemonism, power politics, and a new interventionism are increasing. Regional turbulence occurs frequently. Global issues such as food security, energy resources security and cyber-security cannot be ignored.
“Pushing for multipolarization, democracy in international relations, realizing sustainable development of the world economy and maintaining diversification of the world’s cultures have become important global issues. Fairness and justice are the uppermost goals for all people in the world in the pursuit of international relations. However, fairness and justice are far from being realized in international relations nowadays….
“Human beings have only one Earth. All countries share one world. History tells us the law of the jungle isn’t the way of human coexistence. Military aggression can’t bring us a wonderful world. Every nation should obey the principle of equality, mutual trust, learning from each other, cooperating and seeking joint benefits. They should jointly safeguard and protect international fairness and justice and push for the construction of a harmonious world, sustained peace and joint prosperity.”
At this point his speech was met with a resounding applause from the Congress.
He went on to stress the importance of the two countries China, the largest developing country, and Brazil, the largest Latin American country, working together to achieve a better future for the China-Brazil partnership in order to advance peace and human progress.