Interview: Strong China-Cuba relations to continue to strengthen, says expert
Bilateral relations between China and Cuba will continue to be reinforced for a brilliant future, a Cuban expert has said.
"The two countries share common goals and principles such as solidarity and mutual respect," said Jose Luis Robaina, a senior researcher at Havana's Center for the Study of International Politics.
Robaina made the comment to Xinhua during a recent interview, which came ahead of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Cuba to be marked on Sept. 28.
"The friendship between the two governments and peoples have stood the test of time thanks to the excellent links that unite the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of Cuba," he said.
In September 1960, the leader of the Cuban socialist revolution Fidel Castro received approval from a cheering crowd of nearly 1 million people at Havana's Revolution Square, who welcomed the decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, according to the expert.
Some weeks after this unique moment in the history of the Cuban diplomacy, he said, the two countries formally started to pave the way for a longstanding and unwavering relationship.
In addition, the spirit of comradeship has accompanied the relationship between Chinese and Cuban leaders over the past six decades, including visits at the highest level, he said.
Robaina, 74, studied Chinese history at Peking University between 1963 and 1966, worked as a correspondent in Beijing for Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency between 1980 and 1989, and served as a diplomat in the Cuban embassy in China between 2001 and 2004.
"Cuba was the first country in the western hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with China, which has become the island's second biggest trade partner," he said.
The expert said many Cuban and Chinese people have benefited from academic exchanges throughout six decades, and have become pillars of the strong bilateral cooperation.
While hundreds of Cubans have visited China for training courses in different areas such as aviation, oil extraction, and public transport, he said, Chinese students have learned Spanish in the Caribbean nation.
"No other country provides Cuba with more technical assistance than China, which has contributed to helping the island improve public transport and develop projects related to the use of renewable sources of energy, just to mention some examples," he said.
The two countries have strengthened relations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Chinese government, companies and social organizations have been sending medical supplies to Cuba, and experts from both sides have been sharing scientific data about the deadly disease.
"Cuba and China have successfully managed the health emergency, using similar protocols and providing medical assistance to the world as part of the global response to the novel coronavirus," he said.
The participation of Cuba in China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, he said, will boost economic integration between Caribbean nations and create a more dynamic business environment for the region.
Robaina said that the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly has confirmed China and Cuba have to continue working together in promoting multilateralism and international cooperation, while building socialism for the wellbeing and improvement of livelihood of their peoples.