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Wise Words, New Interpretations: Friendship is about full understanding, swift trust and long memory

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Wise Words, New Interpretations: Friendship is about full understanding, swift trust and long memory

June 06
04:18 2022

Hello and welcome to Wise Words, New Interpretations. In this series, we will explain the whys, whens and wherefores of foreign classical quotations used by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In this episode we will be explaining the line: “Decir amistad es decir entendimiento cabal, confianza rápida y larga memoria; es decir, fidelidad.”

“Friendship is about full understanding, swift trust and long memory, i.e. loyalty” in English. (YouTube:

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This Spanish quote on friendship derives from a poem by Chilean author Gabriela Mistral. In a signed article on November 22, 2016 in leading Chilean newspaper El Mercurio ahead of his state visit to the country, President Xi quoted the phrase to express his hopes that the amity between the Chinese and Chilean peoples will continue from generation to generation.


Though geographically far apart, there is a deep affinity and a strong bond between China and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.


In 1967, at the age of 15, Nicanor Ramírez, a Mexican engineer and teacher, began subscribing to China Hoy, a monthly Spanish magazine published in Beijing. Over the years, he has collected hundreds of issues of China Hoy and other Chinese publications. Although he moved several times because of earthquakes, Ramírez never lost one single issue.


Touched by Ramírez’ 50-plus-year-strong persistence, then Chinese ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi in December 2018 sent a personal invitation to Ramírez and his wife to visit his residence. China has many friends like Ramírez in Mexico.


And Alberto Conejo is another one of them. A famous expert in metallurgical engineering in Mexico, Conejo is currently a professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing.


In 2021, the Chinese government honored Conejo with the Friendship Award, making him the first Mexican scholar to receive this tribute. Both Ramírez and Conejo have witnessed the close friendship between the two nations divided by the Pacific.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the LAC, China lent a helping hand to the region’s countries, deepening the rapport between both sides.


An “air bridge” between China and Mexico was forged in April 2020, to facilitate the delivery of medical supplies from China to Mexico.


The first-ever direct flight between China and Argentina also took off in April 2020. Traveling over 38,000 km, the unprecedented direct flights carried the much-needed medical equipment from China to Argentina.


On January 28, 2021, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera went to the airport to welcome the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China. With half of its COVID-19 vaccines coming from China, Ecuador has become one of the countries with the highest vaccination rates in all of Latin America.


When meeting with President Xi on February 5, after attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said China is Ecuador’s most important cooperation partner. China’s assistance to Ecuador and other countries has never come with any political strings, he added.


The Belt and Road Initiative has led China and the LAC countries  to work even more closely together. With Chinese investments and technological support, Argentina’s Belgrano Cargas railway has been transformed.


In Brazil, an “electricity highway” uses Chinese-patented ultra-high voltage direct current technology to meet the power needs of tens of millions of residents.


Having withstood the test of a fluctuating international situation, China-LAC relations have now entered a new era featuring equality, shared interests, innovation, openness and benefits for the people.


Friendship and mutual trust have firmly taken root in the hearts of the Chinese and Latin Americans.

Media Contact
Company Name: Center for the Americas, China International Communications Group
Contact Person: Tao Zihui
Email: Send Email
Country: China