The Belt and Road is a watershed moment for China-Latin American relations

Author’s Note: This year marks 10 years since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over a decade of practice, it has proven to be a broad and prosperous way for China and the world to share opportunities and seek common development. In a 10-plus-part series, China Daily explores how peace, prosperity, openness, green development, innovation and civilization can contribute more to humanity’s shared future.

Located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls is one of the must-see tourist destinations in South America. In 1984, UNESCO added Iguazu National Park to the World Heritage List. David Zhao/China Daily

The initiative accelerates the pace of development, ushering in significant growth opportunities for both sides

The Belt and Road Initiative has marked a significant turning point in the relationship between China and Latin America, leading to a great deal of growth and development that will continue to strengthen the relationship between the two sides.

Panama’s entry into the BRI in 2017 was an important moment for Latin America, sparking interest from other countries. In January last year, Nicaragua followed suit, and in December 2021, Cuba and China signed a cooperation plan to further develop the BRI.

These strategic collaborations have propelled China-Latin American relations into a new era characterized by equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and shared prosperity.

As of now, 21 countries in Latin America have joined the BRI, with China emerging as the region’s second largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years. The initiative’s core objective of fostering international trade and investment has fueled exponential growth, with bilateral trade between China and Latin America expected to surpass the $300 billion milestone in 2020.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s trade with Latin American countries is set to reach $450 billion in 2021, an increase of 41 percent year-on-year.

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