15:48 GMT19 January 2021
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    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)
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    The restoration of US-Cuba diplomatic ties will not affect the "friendship" between Beijing and Havana, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry said.

    BEIJING, December 18 (Sputnik) – Spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry Qin Gang welcomed the normalization of bilateral relations between the United States and Cuba after a 54-year standoff on Thursday.

    "We have noticed that the United States and Cuba expressed their willingness to improve their bilateral relations. China welcomes and supports the normalization of the bilateral relations [between Cuba and the United States]," Qin Gang said at a press briefing in Beijing.

    The restoration of US-Cuba diplomatic ties will not affect the "friendship" between Beijing and Havana, he noted.

    "We hope that the United States will lift the economic sanctions imposed on Cuba in nearest future," Qin said.

    Qin stressed that China would continue to support any choice Cuba made in relation to its economic and political development.

    On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced a decision to reestablish an embassy in Havana after more than 50 years of severed relations. The United States also plans to cooperate with Cuba on migration, counterterrorism, drug-trafficking and disaster response.

    On the same day, Cuban leader Raul Castro confirmed that his country and the United States had agreed to restore diplomatic relations but noted that it was too early to speak about the end of the economic sanctions implemented against the island.

    Relations between the United States and Cuba started deteriorating following the Cuban revolution in 1959, with the United States introducing an embargo on nearly all imports from Cuba and pushing for democratic reforms in the island country.

    Diplomatic relations between the countries were broken off in 1961.

    China is Cuba's second largest economic partner after Venezuela. In 2014 the trade turnover between the two communist countries reached $1.8 billion.

    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)


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