China, Cuba agree to deepen ties during first visit by a Chinese premier
SEP 25, 2016
HAVANA – Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met with Cuban President Raul
Castro on Saturday during a two-day trip to Havana, and the two leaders
oversaw the signing of around 30 agreements on economic cooperation in
various sectors, Cuban state media reported.
Li is the first Chinese premier to visit Cuba since the two countries
established diplomatic relations 56 years ago, although President Xi
Jinping visited in 2014.
China is Cuba's second-largest trading partner, after Venezuela. The two
countries traded $1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2015, a 57
percent increase on the same period the previous year, official Cuban
Li said in an interview with the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma
that his trip aimed to deepen the two countries' relationship, forge new
areas of economic cooperation and "intensify the mutual political trust."
The two countries signed agreements on collaboration in the science,
environmental, industry, energy, public health and agricultural sectors,
Cuban state TV said. China also agreed to extend lines of credit for
certain projects, it added, but did not specify how much.
Cuba has become a hot destination for tourists, foreign investors and
leaders alike since the government embarked on business-friendly reforms
and Havana and Washington announced a detente nearly two years ago after
decades of hostility.
Earlier last week, Shinzo Abe became the first Japanese prime minister
to visit communist-ruled Cuba, saying he wanted to deepen the two
Li landed in Havana on Saturday and is set to leave early on Monday. No
news conference is scheduled during his visit.
Source: China, Cuba agree to deepen ties during first visit by a Chinese
premier | The Japan Times -