Chilean President Sebastian Pinera met General Secretary Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, Beinjing, on the 24th of April. After this highest-level meeting, the president appeared on the Belt and Road Forum on Tuesday. Sebastian Pinera expressed that they wanted to transform Chile into a business center from which Chinese companies could reach out all of Latin America.
On this investment and innovation forum the Chilean president emphasized the importance of Chinese investments in technology, electric vehicles, telecommunications and e-commerce. During his visit, Pinea met the representatives of BYD and Yutong, makers of electric vehicles, and of Didi Chuxing, a car-hailing company that would challenge Uber in Latin America. Other mentioned areas of cooperation are mining, clean energy, and Antarctic scientific research.
Chile was the first country from South America that had established diplomatic connections with Beinjing 50 years ago. The two countries signed a free-trade agreement in 2005. The world’s leading exporter of copper and owner of the largest confirmed lithium-reserves (batteries) is also a partner in Belt and Road Initiative.
This cordial invitation by Sebastion Pinera happened in spite of the warnings of Mike Pompeo. The U.S. Secretary of State made a stand two weeks ago that Chinese technology, especially telecommunications equipment, would pose a risk for Chile and the US might suspend security cooperation with the Latin-American country.
Chile has been in negotiating with Huawei Marine since for two years about a possible trans-Pacific, 2800 km long fiber optic cable with a design capacity of 16 Tb/s, which would connect Puerto Montt with Caleta Tortel and Punta Arenas of Patagonia.