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Chinese president ends regional tour in cradle of Cuban Revolution

Published on Jul 24, 2014 3:54 AM

HAVANA (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping ended an eight-day trip through Latin America on Wednesday with a visit to eastern Cuba, where both the island's independence struggle against Spain and Fidel Castro's revolution began.

Mr Xi arrived in Havana on Monday and presided over the signing of 29 trade, debt, credit and other agreements on Tuesday ensuring his country will remain Cuba's second largest trading partner after Venezuela, at US$1.4 billion last year.

The Chinese president also met with his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, who travelled with him to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. China will continue to restructure debt, estimated at US$6 billion, import Cuban nickel, sugar and cigars, digitalise the television system, upgrade communications and cyber security and cooperate in health, education and science, according to some of the agreements which were made public without any details on Wednesday.

New credits included funding to build a multipurpose shipping terminal in Santiago and a donation to help Cuba's second largest city recover from Hurricane Sandy, which struck the area almost two years ago.

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