China Cuba Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz on Monday in Beijing, as the leader of the Latin American country attended the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and visited China this week. The two leaders reaffirmed the special and long-standing friendship between the two countries, vowing to oppose hegemony and uphold international justice.
The frequent high-level interactions between China and Cuba also demonstrated China’s firm determination in supporting the Latin American country, particularly as the US’ decades-long trade embargo against Cuba creates tremendous difficulties for its economy, experts said. Such enhanced cooperation between China and Cuba also sent a positive signal for the growing relations between China and Latin America and Caribbean.
China and Cuba are good comrades, good friends, and good brothers that supported each other on issues involving their respective core interests and closely coordinated on international and regional issues, forging an unbreakable bond of trust and righteousness, Xi told Marrero.
China will continue to firmly support the Cuban people in opposing foreign interference and blockades, and in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, Xi said.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday voted by a large margin against the US’ economic and trade embargo against Cuba, first imposed in 1960. China has expressed its opposition to unilateral compulsory measures against other countries through military, political, economic or other means.
Marrero said Cuba is willing to work with China in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, opposing hegemony and bullying, and upholding international fairness and justice, he noted.
The long-standing relationship between China and Cuba has withstood the test of time, as the two sides always support each other in major issues of concern, showcasing special friendship and cooperation, which is also a form of high political recognition, Sun Yanfeng, director of Latin American research at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Monday.
This was another high-level interaction between China and Cuba within the last three months. Xi met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit in August, when the Cuban leader praised current Cuba-China relations as being at a historical peak.
Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited Cuba in September and said at the Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China in Havana that South-South cooperation is China’s strategic choice and is not a stopgap measure.
President Diaz-Canel paid a successful state visit to China in November 2022, when the two heads of state reached a broad consensus on further deepening China-Cuba ties in the new era and agreed to work together to build a China-Cuba community with a shared future.
Xi welcomes Cuba’s active participation in the high-quality construction of the BRI, and hopes that the Latin American country will continue to make good use of important platforms like the CIIE to promote more specialty products entering the Chinese market.
Song Wei, a professor at the School of International Relations and Diplomacy at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times that while China and Latin America are complementary in some industries, the region has been trying to expand its economic diversity and get rid of US control. “Those countries hope to enhance cooperation with China with the aim of increasing their economic security.”
As a result of the long-time US embargo, Cuba urgently needs to find a way of cooperating with others, especially in areas such as agriculture and public health, some experts said, who also believed that China hopes Cuba will learn from its economic reform and opening-up and find a new path that is suitable for its national conditions.
China is also willing to invest in technology or cooperate in areas such as infrastructure and telecommunications in Cuba, and against the backdrop of its economic difficulties, such enhanced cooperation further reflected the deep and special relationship between the two countries, Sun said.
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