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Spotlight: Cuban people welcome top Chinese general's visit

By Qian Yongwen, Mao Pengfei (Xinhua)    15:32, June 15, 2015

HAVANA, June 14 -- The visit to Cuba by Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, was widely welcomed by common Cuban people.

The high-level Chinese military delegation headed by Fan arrived here on Saturday for a two-day visit to the Caribbean country, where the Chinese army is perceived as a force of safeguarding peace.

"I think the Chinese army and the Cuban army share the principle of protecting national peace and security, and never launch initiative attacks on others or provocative behaviors," said Sebastian, a 16-year-old high school student.

Sebastian was echoed by middle-aged businessman Jorge, who did not give his surname.

"China has a powerful and peaceful military force," said Jorge, a small-shop owner in Havana.

"Cuba and America are now seeking to warm up the frosty relations. At this moment, the top Chinese general's visit makes me believe that China will, as always, support our country," he said.

Friendship and brotherhood are the most frequently mentioned words when Cuban people talk about China.

"China and Cuba are good brothers. China will support us no matter in fields of economy, politics, or in military affairs," said Jorge, noting that he seldom pays much attention to military news, but was still excited about Fan's visit to his country.

Elisa, 26, a waitress at Cuba's National Hotel in Havana, has witnessed several important events in the development of friendship between China and Cuba.

"Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed in our hotel during his visit. Today, the top Chinese general (has) also stayed here," said Elisa, who has been working in the hotel for almost four years.

"I can feel that China really cares about Cuba and treasures our friendship," she said.

Fan's visit to Cuba highlighted the importance of military exchanges between the two countries.

Jose, a 33-year-old taxi driver in Havana, noticed that security at Jose Marti International Airport was strengthened on Saturday because of the arrival of the Chinese military delegation.

He still remembered a high-level Chinese military official's visit in May last year, when Fang Fenghui, chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, visited Cuba and met with Cuban President Raul Castro.

"Cuban military leaders also visited China in recent years. I can tell that the two countries have kept close military exchanges," Jose said.

Fan's visit to Cuba aims to further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, deepen pragmatic cooperation between the their armies and promote steady development of bilateral relations, according to the delegation.

Before visiting Cuba, Fan just concluded a trip to the United States, during which he held talks Thursday at the Pentagon with U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and discussed a range of issues of common concern.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jin Chen,Gao Yinan)

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