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Posted April 21, 2005 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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The first vice president of the Cuban Councils of State and Ministers, Raul Castro Ruz, said his visit to China proved very fruitful for strengthening bilateral relations.

China is the first leg of an Asian tour that will also take the Cuban defense minister to Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong officially received Raul Castro, who arrived in Beijing on Sunday, at the People’s Great Palace headquarters.

On Monday, the visiting top official, also chief of the Cuban Armed Revolutionary Forces, held talks with Prime Minister wen Jiabao, Vice President Zeng Qinghong and China’s . Party President and Secretary General Hu Jintao.

Today, Raul Castro laid a wreath on the monument to the People’s Heroes at the Tiananmen Square, a 60-ton marble structure depicting important events of 150 years of revolutionary history.

Following his respect for local heroes, the Cuban Party second secretary met with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Permanent Committee of the Peoples National Assembly.

The visiting top official also held talks with Jia Ginglin, chairman of the Chinese People’s National Consultation Conference Committee, which is considered the largest social body engaged in consults with the government.

The excellent state of bilateral relations and the commitment to continue strengthening them marked exchanges between both sides.

Havana’s high level delegation toured the Beijing Development Zone, headquarters of 1,691 firms worth 9.3 billion USD, most of state-of-the-art technology.

Raul Castro, also chief of the Cuban Armed Revolutionary Forces, visited the monoclonal antibody plant built with technology applied at the Havana Molecular Immunology Center, accompanied by Commander Ramiro Valdes Menendez and Foreign Affairs Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

Furthermore, he paid homage to remains of late Chairman Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, and exchanged with a group of Cubans permanently working in Beijing.

Fernando Ramirez de Estenoz, director of the Cuban Party International Relations, and Alberto Rodriguez Arufe, Cuban ambassador to China, also accompanied Raul Castro.

Raul Castros last visit to China was in 1997. His current tour also includes Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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