Above: Cuba’s Raul Castro and China’s Xi Jinping in Cuba
By the Caribbean Journal staff
China President Xi Jinping made an official visit to Cuba this week.
The visit came a week after Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin made another high-profile visit to the Caribbean island.
This week’s trip was Xi’s first major trip to the Caribbean this year; a year ago, he traveled to Trinidad and Tobago for what was the first-ever visit to that country by a sitting Chinese head of state.
“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 said.
The Chinese leader said his country supported Cuba’s efforts to pursue a “socialist” path, as part of economic reforms led by President Raul Castro.
Xi met with both Castro and his brother, former leader Fidel Castro, saying the latter was “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.
Xi concluded his visit to Cuba on Wednesday after a visit to Santiago de Cuba, with the two countries signing a total of 29 different cooperation agreements.
Those agreements covered areas including social, economic, scientific cooperation, including the provision of a credit line for the construction of a multipurpose terminal in the port of Santiago de Cuba.
Several of the agreements also covered cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to Cuba’s government.