Xi ends Cuba tour with fruitful results

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Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded off a fruitful visit to Cuba Wednesday, with the two sides reaching important consensus on further promoting China-Cuba relations.

Xi and Cuban leader Raul Castro pledged that the two countries will be long-term, staunch friends and partners for reciprocal cooperation at their meeting on Tuesday.

"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," said the Chinese president.

China firmly supports Cuba's pursuit of socialist path, its just fight for safeguarding national sovereignty, and its adjustment of economic and social policies, Xi said, pledging continued aid to Cuba within China's capabilities.

On economic ties, Xi proposed that China and Cuba make good use of existing mechanisms like the inter-governmental economic and trade mixed committee.

He called on the two sides to follow the guidance of the bilateral mid-term economic cooperation plan to boost trade and explore potential in healthcare and other service trade.

The two sides, he said, also need to expand cooperation in key areas like agriculture, infrastructure construction, energy, mining and tourism, and foster new growth points for cooperation in such hi-tech fields as renewable energy and biotechnology.

The two countries should boost the development of the Cuba-China demonstration park on agricultural technology, the Havana demonstration zone on digital TV, as well as port development projects and special economic zones in Cuba, Xi said, adding that Chinese enterprises are encouraged and supported to invest or open business in Cuba.

On China-Latin America ties, Xi said China thanks Cuba for its contribution in advancing the cooperation between China and the region, and expressed his hope that the two countries could continue strengthening coordination to boost China-Latin America and South-South cooperation.

Also on Tuesday, Xi visited Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and the two exchanged views on bilateral ties, the international situation and other issues of common concern.

Xi said his state visit to Cuba is aimed at inheriting and carrying forward the traditional friendship between the two countries jointly built by Castro and the older generations of Chinese leaders, so as to inject new impetus into bilateral cooperation.

"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," he told Castro.

During their talks, Castro showed Xi around in his courtyard and farm, where the seeds of Moringa oleifera and mulberry, gifts from China years ago, have grown into trees with luxuriant foliage.

In April, the China-Cuba Moringa oleifera science and technology cooperation center was set up in southwest China's Yunnan Province, and today a parallel center was unveiled in Havana, noted Xi.

Xi said China is willing to enhance agricultural cooperation with Cuba to jointly improve this sector and safeguard grain security.

At the end of his Cuban tour, the Chinese president visited the historically glorious city of Santiago de Cuba on Wednesday, and stressed that only by remembering history can nations create a better future.

Xi arrived in Havana Monday for his first state visit to Cuba since taking office. It is also the last leg of his four-nation Latin America tour, which has already taken him to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. 

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