China and Mexico officials vow to strengthen cooperation

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China-Mexico cooperation has great potential and huge room for development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday as he met in Beijing with his Mexican counterpart Alicia Barcena, who vowed to strengthen bilateral ties.

Barcena thanked China for helping Mexico rebuild from the damage caused in October by Hurricane Otis, which devastated the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco.

China was helping Mexico expedite purchases of household goods for families hit by Otis, the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement.

Wang said the two sides should promote all-round exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade, culture and other fields.

The two governments stressed the importance of a visit from a Mexican delegation to China in October, which led to the establishment of a working group to combat trafficking of precursor chemicals used to make synthetic drugs including fentanyl, Mexico said.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has been seeking cooperation with Mexico and China to curb the flow of fentanyl, which has fueled a sharp rise in overdose deaths.

Barcena also made the case for forging closer ties between China and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Last month, China and Mexico’s leaders met on the sidelines of the APEC summit and committed to strengthening ties while agreeing to battle illegal drug trafficking between their nations and to push for more trade and investment.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang in Beijing and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Valentine Hilaire in Mexico City; Editing by David Goodman and Josie Kao)