Peruvian Government Reinvigorates Bilateral Relations With China – Analysis

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On Monday  Peruvian President, Ollanta Humala Tasso, begun his official visit to China. President Humala participated in the opening ceremony of the Institute of Peruvian Studies at Hebei Normal University, where his portrait was displayed next to a number of paintings of other Latin American Leaders.

In his keynote speech, the President referred to the Tower of Babel, the Biblical image of a gathering between men, who spoke different languages and for that reason they were unable to build the road to heaven. Humala stated that “today there is a language barrier between [the two countries] countries, Peru and China, in order to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation. This language barrier is slowly being reduced due to our efforts to understand both languages, not only in Peru at the Confucius Institute, but also in China with the Institute of Peruvian Studies, at the Hebei Normal University.” [1]

President Humala continued to emphasize the cultural similarities between Peru and China: “Peruvian Culture is as old as Chinese Culture; it originates from the Incan Empire, whose history must be spread. Because the mutual understanding of our civilizations will permit us to strengthen our relations, as are the objectives and willingness of both of our administrations.”

In the Institute’s inaugural ceremony, the Peruvian President, unveiled a portrait made for his honor, that will be displayed in the main hall way of the Institute of Peruvian Studies, a painting made by a renowned Chinese artist. Peruvian Foreign Minister, Rafael Roncagliogo and Peru’s Ambassador to China, Gonzalo Gutierrez, were present in this ceremony. The event was attended by hundreds of students who are studying Spanish and Peruvian Culture.

In his visit to Beijing, Humala has in his agenda a breakfast meeting with Chinese Business Leaders who represent the China Council for the Promotion of International trade (CCPIT) and subsequently will lead a wreath laying ceremony at the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square. Peruvian President is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of China, Li Keqiang, and also will be welcomed hosted by Mr. Yu Zhengsheng, the President of the People’s Political Consultation Conference of China. [2]

The Peruvian head of state, was invited to participated in the 2013 Boao Asia Annual Forum, in which are expected to participate the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia, New Zealand, Australia, Sultan of Brunei, the President of Kazakhstan and the President of Myanmar.

Ollanta Humala’s visit comes after Alan Garcia, his predecessor’s visit to China in March 19, 2008. Former President Garcia further deepened the cooperation between the two nations, and was the first president to be received by President Hu Jintao, immediately after his reelection.

Five years ago, President Hu Jintao was “convinced” that Garcia’s visit would strengthen the bilateral cooperation and stated the Garcia “has always been a friend of the Chinese people.”

Looking back to President Garcia’s statements it is crystal clear that Peruvian foreign policy towards China has not changed, according to Peruvian former head of state, the “smart development of China” has made it inevitable for the Andean nation to be constantly tied to China, which has large investments in Peru, particularly in the mining sector. [3]

During Alan Garcia’s visit, Peru and China signed eight bilateral agreements in different areas such as justice, energy and mining, culture, agriculture and transport. Under Garcia’s administration, and his second visit to China in 2010, was signed the Bilateral Free Trade Agreement which further improved Peruvian innovation and competitiveness to the Asian Markets.

According to Garcia, bilateral Free Trade Agreement “open the doors and windows for imports and exports, and contribute to increase investments [in Peru].” [4]

Peru is the second country in Latin America, to have signed a free trade agreement with Communist China, according to Alan Garcia, “the two countries should take [advantage] of the benefits of the free trade agreement to deepen [trade] cooperation in various [areas of investment].” Since then, Peru has maintained the same transpacific policy and is ripping the fruits of a close partnership with the Asian Giant. In 2007, Peru became one of the largest trading partners of Peoples Republic of China; bilateral trade reached more than US$ 5.29 Billion and Chinese Investments in Peru total more than 2 billion dollars. Chinese Investment in Peru, is focused more in extraction of Natural Resources, Infrastructure, on sectors of Energy and Mining.

Resources:
[1] http://www.presidencia.gob.pe/el-peru-y-china-son-paises-con-culturas-milenarias-que-necesitan-conocerse-mas

[2] http://www.presidencia.gob.pe/mandatario-llego-a-la-ciudad-de-beijing-como-parte-de-la-visita-de-estado-que-realiza-a-la-republica-popular-china

[3] http://www.andina.com.pe/Ingles/noticia-president-garcias-visit-deepens-cooperation-between-china-and-peru-166234.aspx

[4] http://news.brunei.fm/2010/03/27/pres-garcias-visit-to-china-to-boost-asian-investments-in-peru/

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