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China's Xi Inks Trade Deals with Costa Rica; Heads to Mexico

China's President Xi Jinping, center, and his wife Peng Liyuan, left, stand alongside Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla as they listen to their national anthems at a welcoming ceremony at the presidential house in San Jose, Costa Rica, June 3, 2013.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a number of major trade deals with Costa Rica, as he continues this week's tour of Latin America.

After meeting with President Laura Chinchilla in San Jose on Monday, Xi said Beijing's relations with Costa Rica could become a "model of cooperation between countries of different sizes and national conditions."

Costa Rica is the only Central American country to have diplomatic relations with Beijing rather than Taiwan. China, in return, has rewarded Costa Rica with a number of lucrative trade deals and diplomatic perks.

Among the nine deals signed Monday is a $900 million line of credit to help upgrade an oil refinery on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Beijing also provided loans to help improve Costa Rica's roads, public transit vehicles, and the construction of a new police school.

Xi arrived in San Jose following a three-day stop in oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago. On Tuesday, he will visit Mexico, where he plans to find ways to increase exports from there to China.

On Friday and Saturday, he will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at an informal summit in the western state of California.