Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez met up in a face-to-face diplomatic meeting on Friday, with China reasserting support on Cuba’s “core interests” with the country and promising debt and relief and fresh funds to help the country.

The meeting on Friday found Xi expressing his hope that China and Cuba would continue to “strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs,” though no specific issues were brought up during the meeting, according to the Associated Press.

Diaz-Chanel seemed to agree with Xi, with a Chinese news agency quoting him as saying that the diplomatic meeting “shows that we attach great importance and attention to the friendly and cooperative relationship between Cuba and China.”

Cuba's Economy Minister Alejandro Gil said in the press that the Chinese government has agreed to restructure Cuban debt to the country, and that they have donated over $100 million in funds to help Cuba recover from the onslaught of Hurricane Ian in late September, Reuters reported.

Gil added that China has promised more key investment credits in the country, after trade and investment from the country slowed down significantly due to Cuba’s inability to repay its debts–which was blamed, among other things, on the pandemic. The country’s foreign debt currently stands at $19.6 billion.

“We are going to find mutually acceptable formulas for the ordering and restructuring of debts,” Gil said.

Ties between China and Cuba have only gotten closer since the fall of the Soviet Union, especially as they both sought to oppose what they saw as the United States’ continued dominance on the democratic world order. China remains one of Cuba’s largest trading and investment partners in the world.

Diaz-Canel had recently visited Moscow before arriving in China for the diplomatic meeting, with him and Russian President Vladimir Putin praising their countries’ “traditional friendship” in the face of sanctions from Western countries.

Cuba-China Diplomatic Meeting Rep. Pic
The Presidents Cuba and China met for a face-to-face diplomatic meeting on Friday, with Xi Jinping reassuring Cuba of his support for the country's "core interests" while offering funds and debt relief. This is a representational image. Yerson Olivares/Unsplash.

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