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Xi greets new Cuban top leader

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-21 09:11
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Raul Castro (right) raises the hand of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the closing session of the Cuban Communist Party's Eighth Congress in Havana on Monday. Diaz-Canel was elected first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee. ARIEL LEY ROYERO/ACN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has congratulated Miguel Diaz-Canel on his election as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, or PCC, Central Committee, and wished him greater success in the new leadership position.

Xi, also the Chinese president, made the remarks in a congratulatory message sent to Diaz-Canel on Monday after he was elected to succeed Raul Castro.

In his message, Xi said he was pleased to learn of Diaz-Canel's election and extended warm congratulations to Diaz-Canel and through him to the new central leadership of the PCC, on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and in his own name.

The Eighth Congress of the PCC has drawn a blueprint for Cuba's socialist cause, Xi said, adding Diaz-Canel's election reflects the trust and expectations of all PCC members and the Cuban people.

Xi said he believes that under Diaz-Canel's leadership, the PCC and the Cuban government will lead the Cuban people to forge ahead in unity and steer the cause of socialism with Cuban characteristics toward new achievements.

Thanks to the careful cultivation and vigorous promotion by generations of Party and state leaders on both sides, China-Cuba relations have grown stronger as time goes by and witnessed continuous development, Xi said.

Various consensuses

Xi noted that in recent years, he has reached various consensuses with Diaz-Canel on the development of China-Cuba relations in the new era.

Xi added in the new situation, he is ready to work with Diaz-Canel to strengthen political guidance for the relations between the two parties and countries, carry forward bilateral traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation, and jointly push for continuous development of the socialist causes of China and Cuba.

Diaz-Canel, 60, was born after the Cuban Revolution and succeeded Castro as president in 2018. He was party chief in two provinces before joining the national government as education minister in 2009, and then in 2013 he was elected as first vice-president of the Council of State.

According to media reports, Diaz-Canel said at the party congress on Monday he would continue to consult his predecessor on strategic decisions.

The 89-year-old Castro said on Friday that he would step down as head of the ruling party, ending an era of formal leadership that began with his brother, Fidel Castro, and the country's 1959 revolution.

Castro said he was retiring with the sense of having "fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland."

Xinhua contributed to the story.

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