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China leader Xi welcomes Cuban president to Beijing

AFP  |  Beijing 

Chinese met with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-in on Thursday as he pledged "continued support" for the fellow Communist regime.

Diaz-was on his first visit to since taking over as in April, becoming the first Cuban leader not to be named Castro since 1959.

The visit comes just days after imposed fresh economic restrictions on

Washington's ties with were fully restored in 2015 after more than half a century of enmity, but have deteriorated since took office last year.

Xi met Diaz-at the colossal of the People, where they reviewed Chinese troops in an elaborate welcome ceremony.

During their talks, Xi pledged that would continue to support where possible, calling it a "great and remarkable country" that had overcome obstacles to chart its own path, reported CCTV.

"will firmly support in defending national sovereignty and taking a socialist road in line with its national conditions," he said.

Xi also invited Cuba to join in his pet project, the Belt and Road Initiative, a globe-spanning trade infrastructure programme.

In response, Diaz-Canel said Cuba would take reference from on developing the domestic economy while renewing its social model.

Communist Cuba was the first country in the western hemisphere to recognise in 1960.

is now Havana's top creditor and among its biggest trading partners.

Diaz-Canel, capping a three-day visit, was earlier in for a massive import fair with thousands of foreign companies trying to woo Chinese buyers.

Prior to travelling to China, he received a hearty reception from North Korean leader in last Sunday, with the two leaders embracing on the tarmac as Diaz-Canel stepped off the plane.

After China, the Cuban president will go on to visit fellow communist countries and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 19:10 IST