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Posted November 22, 2004 by Dana Garrett in Castro's Cuba

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The upcoming visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Cuba will give an impulse to bilateral relations, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Jose Guerra told Xinhua.

  “This visit, without a doubt, will give greater dynamism to the relations between the two countries,” said the vice minister, who was Cuban ambassador to China from 1988 to 1999.

  In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the official noted the direct contact between President Hu and his Cuban counterpart, Fidel Castro, will strengthen the ties between Havana and Beijing.

  He pointed out that the conversations between both leaders will be very important, and they will exchange viewpoints on international issues.

  Guerra underscored the relevance of the agreements to be signed during Hu’s visit to the Caribbean country, which will be much more concrete because the two countries now know each other betterand have developed two economies that are closely linked.

  Although he did not elaborate on the agreements, he said they will strengthen the economic, trade, scientific-technological and cultural ties.

  He said that among the documents discussed by both sides, thereis an educational agreement on the study of Spanish in China and Chinese in Cuba.

  The Cuban vice minister reiterated Cuba’s position to back the reunification of China under the scheme of “one country, two systems.”

  “There is only one China, and Taiwan is a province of this great nation,” Guerra said.

  He added that China has become a country with great influence on international issues.

  When referring to the reforms initiated in China over 20 years ago, he said their success has been more than a result of the positive transformation of the country’s infrastructure.

  “The changes, in my opinion, are in the Chinese men and women, who knew how to adapt to this complex process and move on upon that basis,” said the vice foreign minister.

  He added that because of its economic, scientific, technological and political might developed by China, it could be a viable alternative for Latin America.

  He welcomed the important agreements signed by President Hu with Brazilian and Argentine leaders during his current Latin American tour.

  “The dimension of these agreements is gigantic, and thus China represents an alternative for Latin America,” he reiterated.

  He said Hu’s visit to Cuba highlighted the growing relations between the two countries, driven by the trip of then Chinese president Jiang Zemin to the Caribbean nation in 2001 and by Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s tour to China in 2003.

  Guerra termed Hu’s trip as a gesture of solidarity and friendship that “we have to recognize from all viewpoints.”

  “We are expecting it to be a fraternal and friendly visit,” he said.

  Cuba was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with China on Sept. 28, 1960.


  1. Follow up post #1 added on November 22, 2004 by Jesus Perez

    Perhaps President Hu Jintao can influence Fidel’ thinking with respect to increasing the initiative of Cuban citizens to create small business ventures. Cubans are hard working and creative people and I believe this would be a good place to start in terms of reforms.

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