|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) shakes hands with Raul Castro Ruz, president of Cuba's Council of State and Council of Ministers, during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, July 6, 2012. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with visiting President of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers Raul Castro Ruz in Beijing on Friday, calling for expanded win-win cooperation in such areas as trade, agriculture, technology, energy and infrastructure.
Wen recalled their meeting during Raul Castro's China trip in 2005, adding that he believed the current trip of Raul Castro was of great importance for both sides in cementing exchanges and jointly responding to challenges under the new circumstances.
Referring to Cuba as China's important partner in the Latin American region, Wen said the strength and global status of Latin America is on the rise, which has a positive impact on the shaping of global order.
The Chinese premier put forward a series of proposals for cementing China-Latin America ties during his visit to Latin America in June.
"We hope to keep close coordination with Cuba to take China-Latin America cooperation to a new high," the premier added.
Hailing remarkable cooperation with China in diversified areas, Raul Castro said Cuba is at an important stage of development, and expects to work out with China a medium and long-term plan for bolstering bilateral cooperation.
He recalled Wen's speech at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean last month, calling it a "guideline" for boosting Latin America-China ties which had drawn close attention from Latin American countries and the international community.
Cuba will play a positive role in promoting the implementation of China's proposals, the 81-year-old added.
Raul Castro is on a four-day trip in China at the invitation of President Hu Jintao. It is Raul Castro's first state visit to China since he assumed his current post in 2008.
Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang also met with him late on Friday.
Xi reviewed his visit to Cuba last June and hailed the "brotherly friendship" between the two peoples.
He said the party and government of China attaches importance to the bilateral relations and were satisfied with their current development.
The vice president added that the Chinese side will stick to its friendly policy towards Cuba and support the Cuban people to maintain national sovereignty and explore a development path in accordance with its situation.
He also called on the two countries to seek closer cooperation in international affairs, strengthen the unity of developing countries, and contribute to world peace and prosperity.
Raul Castro said Cuba attaches high importance to China's role in international and regional issues. Cuba will make positive efforts to further progress relations between Latin America and China, he added.
During his meeting with Raul Castro, Li hailed the booming China-Cuba ties, labelling it as "an example of unity and cooperation between developing countries."
The vice premier pledged understanding and support to Cuba's strive for safeguarding national sovereignty and for building a socialist country in accordance with its own domestic situation.
Under the current complex international situation, it's of great importance for China and Cuba to improve ties between the two states and ruling parties, Li said.