People's Daily Online
UPDATED: 08:09, April 18, 2007
Cuba is to supply more than 10,000 tons of nickel to China this year, said visiting Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Felipe Ramon Perez Roque on Tuesday.
In his speech at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Perez said Cuba is a reliable nickel supplier for China. By the end of 2006, Cuba had altogether provided nearly 30,000 tons nickel for China.
Cuba's nickel reserve currently stands at 14.6 million tons, which is the second largest in the world.
Perez said China has become Cuba's second largest trading partner, adding bilateral trade volume hit a record high of 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2006.
The two countries have maintained in-depth political dialogues, and conducted close cooperation in international organizations, the 42-year-old Cuban foreign minister said.
At present, more than 500 Chinese students are studying in Cuba, while 160 Cuban youth are studying in China.
Perez said he hopes these youth could contribute to cementing Cuba-China friendship in future.
According to him, the two countries had fruitful cooperation in health, tourism and agriculture fields. The first ophthalmological hospital jointly funded by Cuba and China has been set up in Xining, capital of northwest China's Qinghai province.
More two such hospitals will be launched in Hebi, a city in central China's Henan province, and Datong, a mining city in north China's Shanxi province, Perez said.
Perez arrived in the Chinese capital Sunday night on a four-day official China trip. During his stay, Vice President Zeng Qinghong and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will meet with him, respectively.
He also visited south China's Guangdong province and attended the opening ceremony of the Cuban consulate general there.