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Interview: Ambassador anticipates "fruitful" Cuba visit by President Hu
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13:45, November 14, 2008

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's official visit to Cuba in mid-November will be "very fruitful," Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Zhao Rongxian said Thursday.

Hu's visit is aimed "to further promote the close ties between both countries," Zhao said during an interview with Xinhua.

"It will be a historic and successful visit," Zhao said, adding that China and Cuba are ready to work together for a better future of their ties.

Hu will arrive in Cuba as the second stop of his tour which starts with Costa Rica and will also take him to Peru and Greece from Nov. 16 to 26.

This will be Hu's second visit to Cuba as president. During his first tour to the country in 2004, Hu witnessed the signing of 16 cooperation deals and met with then Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The Chinese president also received the Jose Marti medal – the highest national decoration in Cuba.

The upcoming visit by President Hu is an indication that China has attached great importance to its relations with Cuba, Zhao said.

Noting that Cuba is the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic ties with China in 1960, Zhao said economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries has grown constantly.

China is now Cuba's second largest trading partner only after Venezuela, with their two-way trade reaching 2.3 billion U.S. dollars last year, said the ambassador.

Their cooperation is also flourishing in the fields of transportation, communication, agriculture and education, Zhao added.

More than 1,000 Chinese students are learning the Spanish language and other subjects in Cuba, while hundreds of Cuban students are studying in China.

Cuba is indispensable for China in its bid to strengthen links with Latin American and the Caribbean countries, Zhao said, adding that he was confident there is a promising future for their relations.

Source: Xinhua

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