Miguel Díaz-Canel is heading to China right now. It is the last stop on a presidential tour intended to court some partners to whom, in return, he can promise little except influence in the American continent and some agreement in areas in which the Island still retains a certain prestige, such as healthcare.
At the gates of this visit, the Chinese ambassador to Cuba, Ma Hui, offered a interview to the state agency Xinhua in which he made an idea clear: “We will work together to promote the great practice of adapting Marxism to our time and, jointly, embark on a new expedition of socialist construction with its own characteristics, for the benefit of both countries and of the two peoples, and make new and greater contributions to the bright future of humanity”.
Ma Hui stressed that both countries have had a high level of cooperation for 10 years, the greatest example of which has been the Chinese aid sent to Cuba during the pandemic.
Ma Hui stressed that both countries have had a high level of cooperation for 10 years, the greatest example of which has been the Chinese aid sent to Cuba during the pandemic, but also in the three great tragedies that took place in 2022, the explosion of the Saratoga hotel in Havana, the fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base and the passage of Hurricane Ian.
According to the ambassador, the areas of collaboration will be extended from this visit to energy, agriculture, biomedicine, science and technology, education and culture. Few sectors are left out of this cooperation, since there are agreements not mentioned but already known in transport and industry, and others that he did name and that involve exports from the Island that include everything from the typical rum and tobacco, to honey and other missing products. of the life of the Cubans, such as the sea cucumber, the eel or some fruits.
The relationship, then, should be taken care of since it affects almost everything. A good example of this is that even the most unexpected things have a Chinese hand behind them. “We have been able to secure the garments that we already have ready thanks to a donation from China,” revealed the Cuban Minister of EducationEna Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, this Tuesday at Mesa Redonda when referring to school uniforms.
The official explained the start of the 2022-2023 academic year, which will start next Monday, November 28, with the accumulated delay since the pandemic. Together with this, there is financing assigned by the country with resources. Mirla Díaz Fonseca, president of the Light Industry Business Group, stated that the initial demand was for 2,153,310 garments, but the amount had to be adjusted to 1,274,000 garments, of which 100% of the primary items have been delivered.
There is a lack of uniforms, the officials maintained, basically because of the blackouts, and they have had to resort to techniques such as dyeing the old mustard uniforms blue. “We have had to resort to the help of seamstresses from the sports industry, for example, and we cannot stop talking about the GEMPIL carriers to distribute the fabrics, cuts, buttons,” they added.
However, little would have been achieved without Chinese aid, which also provided financing of which no further details were given.
All this exchange, which has made China the island’s second largest trading partner, has meant a gateway to Latin America for the Asian giant, which has been consolidated over the years. This Thursday, the country’s state press reported that the volume of bilateral trade between China and Cuba increased by 7.2% in 2021. In addition, trade continued to grow in the first three quarters of this year and China’s imports from Cuba reached even an increase of 18.1%.
The volume of bilateral trade between China and Cuba increased by 7.2% in 2021
The improvement is reflected in the rest of the continent, since, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, 21 countries in the region have signed some type of collaboration with the New Silk Roads, also known as the Belt and Road, the Chinese plan that seeks to build roads, railways, ports, logistics platforms and other infrastructure in more than 60 countries.
“The Chinese and Latin American economies are highly complementary and there is enormous potential for cooperation between them,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the volume of trade between the two regions “has fully recovered and is already higher than that existing before the covid pandemic.” -19″.
According to the Chinese ambassador in Havana, “China and Cuba are linked by common ideals and beliefs, and as fellow travelers of socialism, they will take this visit as an opportunity to continue strengthening the relationship between the two parties and the two nations.”
Little information has emerged from the official agenda, although it is expected to take place in an “anti-covid bubble” through which contact of the delegation with the outside world is avoided.
Carlos Miguel Pereira, Cuban ambassador to China, announced that Díaz-Canel “will honor the Chinese heroes” and stressed that after 62 years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations, bilateral ties “have reached full maturity.”
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