Cuba and China strengthen relations

July 20, 2022
Zhou En Lai and Che Guevara
Che Guevara greets Chinese leader Zhou En Lai (left) on his second visit to China in February, 1965. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cuba and China have recently agreed to expand and strengthen relations.

The two governments met during July, entering into agreements on trade, commerce, tourism and cultural exchange.

In recent years, the two nations have grown closer, with China seizing on the opportunities created by the six-decades-long United States economic blockade and the counter-productiveness of US foreign policy toward Cuba.


Cuba and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in September, 1960, not long after the victory of the Cuban Revolution. Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara visited China a few months later on behalf of the new government and signed the first bilateral agreements on economic and technological cooperation between the two nations.

At a virtual meeting between Cuban and Chinese representatives on July 15, Yolanda Ferrer, president of the International Relations Commission at Cuba’s National People’s Power Assembly, said that the ties between the two nations are characterised by mutual political trust and multifaceted cooperation.

Ferrer thanked China for its unwavering support for Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly against the cruel and illegal US blockade, and for its solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ferrer also reaffirmed Cuba’s support for the “One China” principle and opposed external interference in Chinese internal affairs.

The Cuban government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinese company Zhongyulidu Technology on July 1, to promote Cuban culture, heritage and tourism on Chinese digital platforms.

The MOU was struck amid the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first Chinese citizens in Cuba.


To support the sustainable development of Cuba's construction sector, China shares its experiences in the design of technologies and materials with Cuba.

Chinese engineers and other experts present seminars to their Cuban counterparts and governmental representatives on techniques for manufacturing cement, concrete, glass and refractory materials.

Along with manufacturing, China shares its distinctive training system for professionals in the construction industry with Cuba, as part of the China Overseas Aid (China Aid) project, providing assistance to developing countries facing economic difficulties.

Students learn Chinese

Chinese was introduced as an optional second language in Cuban schools for the first time in March, thanks to a cooperation agreement between the Chinese and Cuban ministries of education signed in 2020.

As a result, 130 seventh-grade students at Fructuoso Rodriguez High School in Havana started learning Chinese this year.

China supplies Cuba with Chinese language textbooks, dictionaries and traditional toys to help Cuban adolescents learn the language. A dialogue on teacher training and the teaching of Chinese was held in July between the Cuban and Chinese ministries of education.

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