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Opinion\Op-Ed Contributors

Visit to smoothen trans-Pacific trade routes

By Jorge Heine | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-19 07:13

"Timing isn't everything - it's the only thing" is a mantra I used to hammer into my students and now into my staff. President Xi Jinping is visiting Ecuador, Peru and Chile, during which he will also attend the 24th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Lima on Saturday and Sunday, at a critical time for Sino-Latin American relations. Needless to say his visit may have a lasting impact on China-Latin American relations.

That this is Xi's third visit to Latin America in four years speaks volumes about the priority China assigns to the region (as it happens, this is also his third visit to Chile - his first was as Zhejiang province Party chief in 2005, and later as Chinese vice-president in 2011).

Why is this visit different from the ones in 2013 and 2014?

During Xi's previous visits, Sino-Latin American relations were riding