Chinese language premier pledges Cuban funding to Diaz-Canel

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel held talks Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang, who said Beijing will invest in the Caribbean island nation.

China is willing to advance cooperation with Cuba, “especially in fields such as new energy, information communication and biological pharmacy,” Li said Thursday on the third day of Diaz-Canel’s visit to Beijing.

“We are expecting more imports from Cuba with unique advantages, and will promote in-depth knowledge sharing and exchange development experiences with Cuba,” Li added.

“Chinese people will never forget that Cuba, led by Comrade Fidel Castro, was the first nation in the Western hemisphere to forge diplomatic ties with China 58 years ago,” Xi said separately, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

In April, Diaz-Canel replaced President Raul Castro, who held the post for a decade and remains head of the Cuba’s Communist Party. He succeeded his brother, Fidel Castro, in 2011 as head of the party that’s maintained a grip on the Cuban government for nearly six decades.

Fidel Castro was Cuban prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and president from 1976 to 2008, when he was succeeded by Raul. He was head of Cuba’s Politburo until 2011, and died five years later.

China is the fourth stop of Diaz-Canel’s tour to Europe and Asia, Cuba’s official newspaper Granma reported Thursday. He has visited France, Russia and North Korea. After China, he will visit Vietnam.

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