China, Costa Rica to launch trade talks

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao says his country will launch free trade talks with Costa Rica in January, with hopes of sealing a deal by 2010.

Hu is in Costa Rica with a delegation of 100 businessmen on his first visit to a Central American country.

Hu said during a news conference on Monday that he hopes for a free-trade agreement before Costa Rican President Oscar Arias leaves office in May 2010. The two leaders say their nations also signed 11 cooperation agreements.

All other Central American countries still grant diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, but Costa Rica switched to recognizing China in June 2007. China says Taiwan is part of its territory.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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