On the afternoon of July 5, 2012, President Hu Jintao held talks with President of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers Raul Castro Ruz at the Great Hall of the People. Both sides had an in-depth exchange of views and reached broad consensus on developing bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern.
Hu said Cuba was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Over the past more than half a century, China-Cuba relations have withstood the test of time and international vicissitudes, and have been developing constantly. China and Cuba are both at an important development stage and facing similar tasks of development. It is conducive to the two countries' common development and friendly cooperation between China and Latin America to further consolidate and develop China-Cuba relations, Hu said.
Hu said China is ready to work with Cuba to push bilateral ties to a new level. First, the two countries should maintain close communication at top and other levels and give full play to party-to-party and governmental dialogue mechanisms to strengthen exchanges of experience on party building and national governance. Second, the two countries should expand trade and economic cooperation and promote common development. Hu urged both sides to innovate cooperation modes, optimize trade mix, strengthen cooperation in trade, energy, infrastructure construction, agriculture and biotechnology and encourage two-way investment. Third, both sides should expand exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, education, journalism and media, increase people-to-people exchanges, especially youth contacts and train more talents for the cause of China-Cuba friendship. Fourth, the two countries should strengthen coordination and cooperation on major issues including the UN reform, climate change and sustainable development, so as to promote joint efforts in the establishment of a world with long-term peace and common prosperity.
Hu hailed the achievements Cuba has scored in the socialist construction. He said China will always support Cuba to maintain its sovereignty and explore a socialist way with its own national characteristics.
Raul Castro said the relations between the two countries and two parties have become even firmer and both sides enjoy deepening friendship and strengthened mutually beneficial cooperation. The Cuban people are proud of these achievements, he added. The Cuban side fully agreed to China's proposals on developing the ties. Currently, the Cuban party and government are implementing the spirit of the sixth national congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, strengthening party building and steadily promoting the reform process. Cuba is also exploring a development path in accordance with its situation to promote a comprehensive and sustainable development of the society and economy. He said Cuba attaches great importance to China's successful experience in national development. Cuba was ready to make close contact with China, strengthen exchange of experience on state governance, and expand cooperation in areas including trade, investment and renewable energy so as to push bilateral ties to yield more fruitful results.
Following the talks, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two governments and other cooperation documents.
Prior to the talks, President Hu held a welcome ceremony for Raul Castro's visit at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. NPC Vice Chairman Han Qide, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, CPPCC Vice Chairman Li Zhaozhuo, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK) Xie Kechang, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Wang Jiarui, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission of China Zhang Ping, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Zhang Tuo attended the welcome ceremony.