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President Hu Jintao Arrives at Havana and Starts State Visit to Cuba

2004/11/23

On November 22, 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived at Havana, capital of Cuba and started state visit to Cuba in a bid to strengthen the friendly cooperative relations between China and Cuba.

In the afternoon the same day, the special plane of Hu arrived at the Jose Marti International Airport of Havana. Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing were welcomed by President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz at the airport where the national flags of China and Cuba flied in the wind. On behalf of President Castro of Cuba, Raul held a grand welcome ceremony for the visit of Hu to Cuba.

In his written speech delivered at the airport, Hu pointed out that Cuba is the important country in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Over the past half century, under the leadership of President Castro, the Party, government and people of Cuba have made admirable achievements in maintaining national sovereignty, developing national economy and raising people's living standards.

Hu pointed out that China and Cuba enjoy long-term history of friendly exchanges. Cuba is the first Latin American country establishing diplomatic ties with China. Over the past 44 years bilateral ties have stood tests of fluctuations of international situation. At present the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in all fields keep expanding and have made fruitful achievements. We are willing to work with Cuba to make joint efforts to build a promising future of bilateral cooperation.

Hu noted that during his visit he will exchange ideas with President Castro on bilateral ties and major international issues of common concern and brief each other on the development of their countries. He expressed confidence that his visit will reach the goal of deepening friendship and strengthening cooperation.

Director Wang Gang of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and other personnel accompanying President Hu arrived at Havana by the same plane. Chinese ambassador Li Lianfu to Cuba, staff of the Chinese embassy in Cuba and representatives of Chinese living in Cuba also welcomed President Hu Jintao at the airport. Hu arrived at Havana from Chilean capital of Santiago by special plane after accomplishing his state visit to Chile and attending APEC's 12th informal leadership meeting. Cuba is the last stop of Hu's visit to the four Latin American countries. Earlier he also visited Brazil and Argentina.

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