by Xinhua writers Mao Pengfei, Xia Lin

MEXICO CITY, May 25 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang‘s ongoing four-nation Latin America tour has raised two-way cultural cooperation to a new level, cementing ties between the peoples and consolidating the bedrock of the Sino-Latin American “community of common destiny.”

Ties between countries lie foremost in people-to-people exchanges, according to ancient Chinese wisdom.

Cultural cooperation between China and Latin America can overcome the vast geographical distance between them, lead to better understanding of each other’s civilizations and ways of thinking, and foster public support for their relations.

Sino-Latin American ties have seen accelerated development in recent years, turning China into the region’s second-largest trade partner and third source of investment, with bilateral cooperation expanding from trade to the financial sector.

Aimed at promoting production capacity cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, Li’s trip comes at a time when both Chinese and Latin American economies are undergoing transformation.

In the past 30 years, China’s process of industrialization and urbanization spurred the export of Latin America’s raw materials. Now, Chinese technology and capital are returning to Latin America in the form of investment, promoting infrastructure construction and industrial modernization in the region.

In other words, China and Latin America are establishing a “community of common destiny,” and heart-to-heart cultural communication is needed more than ever.

During his visit, Li attended a series of cultural exchange events, reflecting China’s desire to bridge cultural differences and sincerity to consolidate ties.

At a symposium on Sino-Latin American cultural exchange in Colombia, a country known to the Chinese as the birthplace of the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” Li said China’s cooperation with Colombia, and Latin America in general, is not only taking place at the material level but also at the spiritual level, and the latter merits even more attention.

Li proposed promoting literature as a powerful medium for hear-to-heart communication, pointing out that cultural exchanges through literature is an important component of international relations and an effective way to promote mutual understanding between different peoples.

A mega infrastructure project like the proposed South American transcontinental railway can help link markets in China and Latin America, but a novel or a collection of poems can link the hearts of different peoples, helping them cross cultural boundaries and better understand the world.

Both China and Latin America have splendid ancient civilizations and serve as excellent models for harmonious coexistence between different cultures. Heart-to-heart communication with Latin America presents to China not a binary world of East and West, but a world rich in cultural diversity.

Exchanges and cooperation between diverse cultures can not only smooth political and economic ties, but also underpin efforts to build the Sino-Latin American “community of common destiny.”