|Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Raul Castro Ruz, president of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers, during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, July 5, 2012. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- China and Cuba on Thursday pledged to further enhance their traditional friendship and cooperation in all areas.
The pledge came out of a talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting President of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers Raul Castro Ruz at the Great Hall of the People.
China and Cuba are both at an important development stage and facing similar tasks. 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.
He called on the two countries to maintain close communication between all levels and give full play to party-to-party and governmental dialogue mechanisms to strengthen exchanges of experience on party building and national governance.
Hu called on the two countries to expand trade and economic cooperation, especially cooperation in trade, energy, infrastructure construction, agriculture and biotechnology, and to encourage two-way investment.
Hu said the two sides should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas such as culture, education and media, and increase youth exchanges.
He also called on the two countries to 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.
Like Hu, Raul spoke highly of the traditional friendship between the two countries and two parties. He said Cuba attaches great importance to China's successful experience in national development.
Raul said Cuba was ready to make close contact with China and expand cooperation in areas including trade, investment and renewable energy.
Raul also briefed Hu on Cuba's domestic situation, saying the party and government would strengthen party building and steadily promote the reform process. Cuba is exploring a development path in accordance with its situation and promote a comprehensive and sustainable development of the society and economy.
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.
Before the hour-long talks, Hu held a welcoming ceremony for Raul. The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several cooperative agreements, including a governmental economic and technological cooperation deal, after the talks.
Raul started his state visit to China on Wednesday at the invitation of Hu.
Prior to his talk with Hu, Raul met with top legislator Wu Bangguo.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, appreciated Cuba's firm support on issues concerning Taiwan, Tibet and human rights.
He pledged further aid for Cuba's economic and social development and vowed to enhance exchanges with Cuba's legislative body, especially experience in democracy, legislation and governance.
Other Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, will also meet with Raul during his visit.