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What does Bolivia gain from being a strategic partner of China?

In addition to signing their association, Evo Morales and Xi Jinping also signed protocols to open the Chinese market to more Bolivian products

Last week in Beijing, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an agreement that makes them strategic partners, as well as some other protocols that deepen their economic relationship.

Through strategic partnership agreements, such as the one signed with Bolivia, China expresses interest in narrower political and economic ties of special interest. Bolivia is not the first strategic partner of China in the region, since it maintains the same relationship with Brazil since 2009, with Chile since 2016 and with Uruguay since January of this year.

Leer en español: ¿Qué gana Bolivia con ser socio estratégico de China?

For China, the signing of the pact seems to indicate a continuation of efforts to encourage the Latin American economies, which have much to offer China, but which are mainly attractive markets for the distribution of Chinese products and important sources of raw materials for China.

However, Bolivia also seems to have much to gain from the association, since China's financial and industrial power would play in Bolivia's favor and will surely translate into high-profile projects in the Andean country, which for China has to become an example of benefits of allying with them.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that in addition to the 33 years of commercial history that link the two countries, the political position that Bolivia has taken on the international stage make it a good prospect of a strategic partner.

"China appreciates that Bolivia firmly adheres to the one-China policy, actively responds to the Strip and Road Initiative and vigorously promotes the deepening of Sino-Latin American relations (relations between the Republic of China and the Latin American countries)," Chinese newspaper Xinhua quoted President Xi as saying.

Seven additional agreements

In addition to the strategic partnership, perhaps the most important thing that happened in the visit of President Evo Morales to China were the seven additional agreements that were signed jointly.

Among these, it is worth noting a protocol of measures for the cleaning of crops (phytosanitary) for the export of Bolivian coffee and quinoa to the Chinese market, a not inconsiderable agreement taking into account the size of the market they access and the low competition with which they enter, particularly with quinoa.

During the meetings, Chinese President Xi stressed that these two products may be the first of many Bolivian agricultural products that will find distribution space in the second largest economy in the world.

Soybeans, meat, and almonds, whose export to China from Bolivia was also discussed at meetings, did not receive the same treatment, and do not yet have the phytosanitary agreement that supports their export to China, but it is expected to be the following products in accessing this market.

"The Chinese side is open to import more products from Bolivian farms and ranches," Xinhua said, quoting President Xi.

Another agreement that should be of interest to the Bolivian economy is the approval of two important credits. One from the Export and Import Bank of China, which according to the agency DW will be allocated to the construction of an 'integrated command and control system for sub-regional citizen security', and another from the China Development Bank for the construction of the highway Pumping-Tunari.

Credits like these show the potential of an alliance with China for development, something that President Evo Morales sees very favorably, something not very frequent in the region, which still considers that the Chinese country's economic support is conditioned to a specific political action .

"China's support and assistance to the economic and social development of Bolivia never entails political conditions," Morales told Xinhua.

 

Latin American Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from “¿Qué gana Bolivia con ser socio estratégico de China?”