Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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China to Invest $250 Billion in Latin America Over Next 10 Years

China has pledged to invest $250 billion in Latin America over the next 10 years  in a move to increase its influence over the U.S.-dominated region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will put into writing a five-year cooperation plan, reports China state news agency Xinhua.

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"China is willing to take the opportunity to build a new platform for cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean," said Xi.

The plan, along with the Beijing Declaration, and the Regulations on China-CELAC forum are the fruit produced from the first China-CELAC forum ministerial meeting, Xi said in his opening remarks.

In the coming decade, China is targeting $500 billion in bilateral trade with Latin American and the Caribbean, and $250 billion of direct investment into the region.

Xi said that the plan will have specific measures for overall cooperation between China and Latin America. This will cover politics, security, trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, energy, resources, industry, agriculture, science and people-to-people exchange.

He added that the Chinese economy will continue medium to high speed growth in the near term, and provide more opportunities for the world including Latin American and Caribbean states.

"Each CELAC country, both rich and poor, is equal under the framework of the forum," said Xi. "All sides should keep friendly consultation, hold common development and consider interests from all sides in order to ensure a firm political foundation for the cooperation."

The Beijing Declaration will summarize political consensus, set the direction for the forum and define cooperation guidelines. The regulations will set the rules of the forum, define three regular dialogues between China and CELAC, and provide a system to guarantee the implementation of political consensus and plans, reports Xinhua.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, ministers and representatives from China and CELAC, will define 13 key areas of cooperation over the next five years, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"The five-year plan will bring unprecedented depth and width to bilateral cooperation," Wang said.

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