Lead­ers honor friend­ship with Cuba

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO DESHENG caodesh­eng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and Cuba agreed on Thurs­day to deepen their friend­ship and jointly write a new chap­ter in their bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Cuban Pres­i­dent Miguel Diaz-Canel wit­nessed the sign­ing of a se­ries of co­op­er­a­tive doc­u­ments af­ter their talks at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

Speak­ing to Diaz-Canel, who was in Bei­jing on his first state visit to China af­ter tak­ing of­fice in April, Xi said China and Cuba, both so­cial­ist coun­tries, are good friends, good com­rades and good broth­ers, adding that bi­lat­eral ties have with­stood the test of time and changes in the in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion.

Xi re­called Cuba tak­ing the lead 58 years ago in es­tab­lish­ing diplo­matic re­la­tions with China un­der the lead­er­ship of Com­rade Fidel Cas­tro, and he rec­ol­lected the good me­mories of his meet­ings with Cas­tro dur­ing his two sep­a­rate vis­its to Cuba.

Xi stressed China highly ap­pre­ci­ates the party, gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Cuba de­vel­op­ing re­la­tions with China with firm de­ter­mi­na­tion. The two coun­tries should fur­ther con­sol­i­date mu­tual po­lit­i­cal trust and sup­port, en­hance mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial and win-win co­op­er­a­tion, and strengthen ex­changes and mu­tual learn­ing of state gov­er­nance, he added.

He called on the two sides to con­tinue to sup­port each other on is­sues re­lated to re­spec­tive core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns, adding that China will res­o­lutely sup­port Cuba safe­guard­ing its na­tional sovereignty and pur­su­ing the so­cial­ist path that suits its na­tional con­di­tions.

Xi lauded Cuba’s pos­i­tive and cru­cial role in pro­mot­ing re­la­tions be­tween China and Latin Amer­ica and the Car­ib­bean, say­ing China is ready to main­tain close co­or­di­na­tion with Cuba in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional and re­gional is­sues.

China wel­comes Cuba par­tic­i­pat­ing in con­struc­tion of the Belt and Road, Xi said, adding the two sides should move for­ward key co­op­er­a­tion projects in such fields as trade and eco­nomics, en­ergy, agri­cul­ture, tourism and bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

He called for cul­tural and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries, es­pe­cially among youth.

Prior to the talks, Xi held a wel­com­ing cer­e­mony for the Cuban leader, who also at­tended the open­ing of the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai on Mon­day.

Diaz-Canel told Xi the new gen­er­a­tion of Cuban lead­ers will unswerv­ingly keep con­sol­i­dat­ing the tra­di­tional friend­ship with China that fea­tures com­rade­ship and broth­er­hood.

The two na­tions should fur­ther main­tain high-level ex­changes and po­lit­i­cal dia­logue, strengthen trade, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural in­ter­ac­tions, and in­ten­sify com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs, he said.

KUANG LINHUA / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping ac­com­pa­nies Cuban Pres­i­dent Miguel Diaz-Canel at a wel­com­ing cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

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