On December 2, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to congratulate the founding of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
In his message, Hu said that the establishment of CELAC is a major milestone in regional integration and that China appreciates the positive role of Latin American and Caribbean countries in international and regional affairs. China believes that the establishment of the community will make important contributions to unity and coordination in the region as well as joint efforts to counter global challenges, Hu said.
China and Latin America are geographically apart, but their peoples enjoy traditional friendship, Hu said. In the 21st century, relations between China and Latin America have seen all-round and fast development with the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation, Hu said. China has always treated its relations with Latin America from a strategic perspective and China is willing to work with CELAC and other countries in the region to build and develop a comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development through the strengthening of dialogue, communication and cooperation, said Hu.