Sunday, November 27, 2022

China-Cuba Deepening Friendship Conforms to Reality, Shows Solidarity

By Pan Deng

Nov 27, 2022 04:46 PM

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, holds a ceremony to welcome Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban president, prior to their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 25, 2022. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and president of Cuba, visited China from Thursday to Saturday. He is the first head of state from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to visit China after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). 

The China-Cuba friendship is rooted in historical ties. Cuba was the first country in the Western hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1960, despite ups and downs, the two countries have withstood the test of time and international vicissitudes, treated each other sincerely, stood together through thick and thin, and established friendly cooperative ties.

The friendship also conforms to reality. At present, unilateralism and power politics are on the resurgence, and the US hegemonic act of imposing unilateral sanctions is becoming increasingly prevalent. In response to all these challenges, under the leadership of the two heads of state, China-Cuba relations have been maintained at a high level over the past 10 years, cooperation in various fields has made considerable progress and continuously displayed new achievements.

The Cuban leader's China visit was short in duration but strong in substance and full of results. In terms of timing and results, both sides placed each other in a special position and top priority in their respective diplomatic overall situations, demonstrating continuous consolidation and development of the special relationship and indicating that the bilateral relations will be further deepened and upgraded in the future.

China and Cuba are both socialist countries, and share a wide range of views on state and global governance, which is an important foundation of their special and friendly relations. Based on such broad consensus, the two countries, which are geographically distant from each other, at different stages of development and have significant differences in national strengths, can firmly support each other on issues involving core interests, coordinate in international and regional affairs, and jointly advance forward on building socialism with their own characteristics.

Over the past 60 years since the victory of the Cuban revolution, although progress has been made in many fields, Cuba has been subjected to the brutal, inhumane and unpopular unilateral sanctions and blockade imposed by the US, and has suffered huge economic losses. After the outbreak of the pandemic, the US has not substantially relaxed its sanctions imposed on Cuba. Instead, it incited local demonstrations, creating obstacles to prevent Cuba participating in international cooperation and obtaining international assistance, which resulted in deepening humanitarian disasters in Cuba. In addition, Cuba was hit by lightning and hurricanes one after another earlier this year, worsening the economy and people's life. Taking this visit as an opportunity, the Chinese side has extended a helping hand and offered substantial support and assistance, which shows the essence of "a friend in need is a friend indeed."

China is Cuba's largest trading partner in goods, and Cuba is China's second largest trading partner in the Caribbean region. During this visit, the two sides agreed to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and enhanced cooperation of mutual interest such as biotechnology, renewable energy, health, economics, trade, finance and cybersecurity, which will help Cuba recover and improve its independent production capacity and technology as well as help resolve the fundamental problems that Cuba has to face in livelihood and long-term development. This shows the two countries are "good friends who trust each other."

The Cuban side reaffirmed its firm commitment to the one-China principle and the support for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation as well as the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative that China has proposed. It firmly opposes provocations against China by other countries on the Taiwan question, and opposes interference in China's internal affairs on issues related to China's Xinjiang region, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and human rights. China firmly supports Cuba in safeguarding its national sovereignty and opposing foreign interference and blockade. At the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese representatives urged the US to immediately and fully end its economic, commercial and financial embargoes imposed on Cuba. Since 1992, China has voted in favor of all 30 resolutions calling for an end to the blockade. 

At present, the world is seeing unprecedented changes. As "good comrades committed to the same cause," China and Cuba jointly oppose all hegemonism and power politics, which has a broad and positive impact on maintaining international fairness and justice as well as promoting world peace and development.

The author is executive director of the Latin American and Caribbean Region Law Center of China University of Political Science and Law.

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