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The OAS and China Renew their Cooperation for Five Years and Sign Agreement for Scholarships

  December 12, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Permanent Observer of China to the institution, Ambassador Cui Tiankai signed today at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC a renewal for five years of the agreement establishing the principles of cooperation between the Inter-American institution and the Asian country.

Under the agreement, China will provide a total contribution of $ 1.5 million distributed over the next five years to support the work of the Organization in cooperation projects that promote political stability and the economic and social development of the member countries, and exchange programs between China and the member states.

During the ceremony, Secretary General Insulza and Ambassador Tiankai signed another agreement through which China committed to provide 15 scholarships annually for five years to students from Latin America and the Caribbean who wish to pursue undergraduate and graduate programs at Chinese universities. Each scholarship will cover tuition, accommodation, a monthly stipend, health insurance and other student expenses.

During the ceremony, Secretary General Insulza said the signing is "a recognition of China's cooperation with the OAS." He added that "10 years have passed since China became a Permanent Observer and, since then, it has made significant contributions that we renew today." The head of the hemispheric Organization highlighted in particular China's support for the institution’s activities on integral development, child education, gender equality, trade and competitiveness, sustainable development and environmental protection.

"Since 2009, approximately 70 students in the Hemisphere have had the opportunity to study in China through the scholarship program of the OAS," he said, and added that this cooperation will continue to deepen. "The documents we signed today reflect a 50% increase in financial contributions to the China-OAS Fund and an increase in the supply of scholarships offered annually to students from Latin America and the Caribbean," he said.

Secretary General Insulza said that "we are very pleased to have these agreements, which have become a model for existing regional commitments to our permanent observers, they provide a reliable framework for increased dialogue and cooperation in the region and allow both parties to plan long-term cooperation." The leader of the OAS closed his remarks by noting the "important and constructive role China is playing in the region and the world."

For his part, Ambassador Cui Tiankai recalled that "during the last decade we have witnessed advances that the region has made in facing challenges, seizing opportunities and promoting development." "We have not just been observing; we have promoted high-level exchanges between China and the OAS actively participating in the activities of the Organization. Over the last two periods the Cooperation Fund offered $ 2 million to support 70 programs in various areas, which benefit all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean," he continued.

The diplomat noted that China has already become the second largest economy in the world and, in that context, "the Americas, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean, have also enjoyed a growing international reputation," so naturally "China and the countries of the Americas have developed close exchanges at all levels and deepened mutual political trust."

The Chinese ambassador also said that the exchange of recent years symbolizes a new historical stage in relations between China and Latin America and said that "in this interconnected world, countries have common interests and face common challenges. Therefore, China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, taking a more active role in international affairs and playing its due role as a country with important responsibilities."

The Ambassador concluded his remarks by noting that "there is much we can do together, and we look forward to sharing opportunities with the Americas and continue to contribute to a new dynamism, stability and global development between the OAS and our country. China is not only an observer, he concluded, it "is ready to be a good partner and good friend of the OAS."

As part of the signing, the organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC hosted a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of China as a Permanent Observer to the OAS, in which projects and programs in which the Asian country has contributed we highlighted. Among them those programs relating to civil registration, electoral observation missions, peace missions, cultural programs for social change, strengthening of small and medium enterprises and the promotion of democracy were emphasized, among others.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-552/14