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China pledges support for new Cuban president


China pledges support for new Cuban president

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BEIJING  – China says it’s ready and willing to work with Cuba’s newly elected president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, to expand bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Diaz-Canal, the former first vice president was sworn in last Friday to succeed Raúl Castro who stepped down from office.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Monday that President Xi Jinping had sent congratulatory messages to both the retiring president and the island’s new leader who is the first person outside the Castro family to lead the Spanish-speaking Caribbean nation in almost six decades.

“The Chinese leadership commends the political mutual trust between China and Cuba and stands ready to work with the Cuban leadership to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation and score glorious achievements in China-Cuba friendship in a new era,” Hua said.

“China and Cuba enjoy profound friendship and a solid basis for cooperation. We sincerely hope that Cuba’s path of socialist development can become wider and wider and believe that the responsible Cuba with its own characteristics can continue to utter its loud voice at the world stage.”

China-Cuba relations have strengthened since President Xi assumed office in 2013.

China is Cuba’s second largest trading partner after Venezuela; and President Xi has established dozens of bilateral agreements on a multitude of areas, including finance, agriculture, industry, telecommunications, oil, and energy with the Caribbean nation. (CMC)