On Jan. 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping strode into a meeting room in Beijing for an unprecedented gathering. The audience was filled with Latin American dignitaries, including three presidents, one prime minister and countless Cabinet members from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
It was the first official high-level gathering of the China-CELAC Forum, and Xi expressed his appreciation. “Your presence,” he told his audience, “has brought warmth to Beijing in the depth of winter.”
Xi vowed to double Chinese trade with Latin America to half a trillion dollars and raise direct Chinese investment in the region to $250 billion within 10 years.