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Xi looking forward to 'charting course' of stronger ties with Cuba

Updated: 2014-07-23 07:34
By Xinhua ( China Daily)

Xi looking forward to 'charting course' of stronger ties with Cuba

President Xi Jinping arrived in Havana on Monday for his first state visit to Cuba since taking office.

In Cuba, Xi will meet with with Cuban leader Raul Castro to draw up a blueprint for the future development of China-Cuba relations at a strategic height and from a long-term perspective.

The two countries will also sign documents of cooperation covering economy, trade, agriculture, biotechnology, culture and education.

In written remarks released upon his arrival, Xi recalled that in 1960, Cuba became the first Latin American and Caribbean nation to forge diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, opening a new chapter in China-Latin America ties.

Since then the two nations have withstood the tests of a constantly changing international landscape, he said, adding that the two good friends, comrades and brothers have contributed a lot to promoting solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and safeguarding their common interests.

"I look forward to having in-depth talks with President Raul Castro and other Cuban leaders over bilateral relations and issues of common concern, taking stock of experience in growing the bilateral relationship and charting the course for its future development," Xi said. He noted that Cuba, as an important Latin American and Caribbean nation, has adhered to the socialist course for more than 50 years under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba.

The country has also firmly safeguarded national sovereignty, worked hard to promote economic growth, and constantly improved people's livelihood, thus making outstanding achievements in various fields of social and economic development, he said.

"We would like to extend our congratulations to Cuba and sincerely hope that Cuba can achieve one victory after another in socialist construction," said Xi.

With both nations now in a critical juncture for development, they face new opportunities to boost their relations, he said.

The Chinese president said he hoped that with efforts from both sides, his visit will achieve the goals of promoting friendship, deepening mutual trust, expanding cooperation and boosting development, and will usher in a new era for bilateral, mutually beneficial cooperation and friendship.

Cuba is the last stop of Xi's four-nation Latin American tour, which has already taken him to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. He also attended the sixth BRICS summit and met with leaders of Latin American and Caribbean nations in Brazil.

 Xi looking forward to 'charting course' of stronger ties with Cuba

President Xi Jinping receives flowers from a Cuban girl upon his arrival at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Monday. Xi is on a two-day visit to Cuba. Li Xueren / Xinhua

(China Daily 07/23/2014 page3)