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Cuban leader Castro makes first visit to China since taking office


07-06-2012 10:47 BJT

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BEIJING - President Hu Jintao held a talk with visiting President of Cuba's Council of State and Council of Ministers Raul Castro Ruz on Thursday afternoon.

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)

Hu welcomed Raul's visit on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government and people.

Hu reviewed his visits to Cuba in 1997, 2004 and 2008, noting that his talks with Fidel Castro Ruz and Raul left a "deep impression" on him.

Hu said he appreciated Raul's efforts to inherit and promote China-Cuba relations, adding that he believes Raul's visit will effectively boost bilateral communication and cooperation in all sectors.

Raul said his contacts with Chinese leaders have also had a significant effect on him.

He praised the development of bilateral relations in recent years, adding that Cuba-China ties have become increasingly mature and withstood the test of time.

Before their talk, Hu held a welcoming ceremony for Raul at the Great Hall of the People. The two leaders are scheduled to witness the signing of several cooperative agreements.

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. Other Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang, will also meet with Raul during his visit.

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