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CHINA and Cuba pledged to work together in the cause of socialism and economic development as the countries’ two leaders met in Beijing yesterday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel for his first state visit to China, saying their relations had withstood the test of time and international pressure.
“Chinese people will never forget that Cuba, led by comrade Fidel Castro, was the first nation in the western hemisphere to forge diplomatic ties with China 58 years ago,” Mr Xi said and explained how that support was crucial in the country’s development.
Mr Xi said China firmly backs Cuban national sovereignty and its choice of choosing a socialist path with the country winning the respect of the world despite the difficulties and obstacles it has faced over the past 60 years.
He said the Chinese people appreciate Cuba’s contribution to the relations between China, Latin American and Caribbean countries.
“China’s co-operation with Cuba follows the principle of upholding justice and pursuing shared interests.
“China will support Cuba in all aspects that we can support,” Mr Xi added.
Cuba has been subjected to a punishing economic blockade by the US since 1960. The Cuban Foreign Ministry branded it “the most unfair, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been applied against any country.” It is estimated to have cost the country’s economy $933 billion over the past 60 years.
Mr Xi recalled his meetings with Fidel Castro, calling on Havana and Beijing “to doubly cherish the friendship forged and cultivated by the older generations of leaders, inherit and develop it and jointly write a new chapter of bilateral friendly co-operation.”
The two countries will develop cultural exchange programmes to strengthen understanding among younger people to help build for the future.
Mr Diaz-Canel said the visit strengthened bilateral ties and explained Cuba is willing to learn from China to update its domestic economic and social model and promote the cause of socialist construction.
“Between tradition and the projection to the future, China opens doors where others raise walls,” he said.
He said that China’s “technological advances and openness to the world” provide confidence for the future.
“China's friendship honours us and its example inspires us. Our historical relations that are paradigmatic, are strengthened and expanded," he said.
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