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China to further cooperation with Cuba
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Vice President Xi Jinping said Wednesday China would bolster cooperation with Cuba and boost bilateral ties with the aim of greater achievement on the basis of equality and mutually beneficial and common development.

"The Chinese (Communist) Party and government attach great importance to their friendly relationship with Cuba," Xi told visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi hailed the development of bilateral ties between China and Cuba, the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic ties with New China in 1960.

"Because of the two sides' joint efforts, bilateral relations have entered a new period of all-round development in the 21st century," said Xi.

Rodriguez said Cuba attached a great deal of importance to the countries' mutual ties and bilateral cooperation and said they had stood the test of time.

Cuban-Chinese relations had been consolidated and strengthened, he said. The two states were "good comrades, good brothers and good friends."

He pledged to deepen friendly cooperation and exchanges with China in various fields.

Rodriguez's first visit to China coincides with top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo's visit to Cuba, which is also expected to boost the friendly ties between the two countries.

China and Cuba registered 800 million U.S. dollars worth of bilateral trade in 2004, and it reached more than 2.2 billion in 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2009)

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