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Xi vows better ties with Cuba, meets Fidel
July 23, 2014, 5:04 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) visits Cuban revolution leader Fidel Castro in Havana, capital of Cuba, July 22, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets Cuban revolution leader Fidel Castro in Havana, capital of Cuba, July 22, 2014 [Xinhua]

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cuban leader Raul Castro pledged in Havana Tuesday that the two countries will be “long-term, staunch friends and partners”. Beijing would aid Cuba in its bid to open up the communist island’s economy and bolster growth, the visiting Chinese President said.

“We will resolutely deepen our friendship and treat each other with all sincerity, carry out mutually beneficial cooperation and forge our partnership in reform and development,” Xi said during talks with Castro, president of Cuba’s Council of State and the Council of Ministers.

“China cherishes the traditional friendship between the two nations. No matter how the international situation changes, it will be a set policy of China to develop a long-term friendship with Cuba,” Xi noted.

Cuba is seeking more investment from China, its largest creditor till date.

Cuba had earlier this year passed a more attractive foreign investment law, allowing for full foreign ownership of companies and cutting taxes for overseas investors. Cuba grew 2.7 per cent in 2013.

China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. (2208) is already building 34 wind turbines for Cuba.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping also visited Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Havana on Tuesday and the two exchanged views on bilateral ties and the international situation.

“You are the founder of the causes of Cuban revolution and construction and also of the China-Cuba relationship,” Xi said.

“You are deeply admired by the Cuban people and have also won the respect of the Chinese people. We will never forget the significant contributions you have made to the bilateral relationship,” Xi told Fidel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wrote off 90 per cent, or almost $32 billion of Cuba’s Soviet-era debt had also met 87 year-old Fidel Castro before the 6th BRICS Summit this month.

“I have paid very close attention to President Xi’ s Latin America trip, and I am delighted to see the successful convening of the BRICS summit and the meeting between leaders of China and Latin American and Caribbean nations,” Fidel told Xi on Tuesday.

 

 TBP and Agencies

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