Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to increase cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean as he opened a forum in Beijing with leaders from the region.
The meeting between Xi and leaders of some 30 Community of Latin American and Caribbean States comes as China pushes for more influence in what has traditionally been Washington's backyard.
Xi said two-way trade between China and Latin America was expected to rise to $500 billion in 10 years.
China has particularly strong ties with several Latin American nations that have clashed diplomatically with the U.S., especially Venezuela.
On Wednesday, Xi met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who said he received pledges of $20 billion in Chinese investment in his country's beleaguered economy.