Raúl Castro will receive the "Friendship Medal" from China



The leader of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC, the only legal one), Raúl Castro, will receive the Chinese Friendship Medal on Sunday, Cuban state media reported Friday, without specifying whether or not the former president will travel to the Asian country.

Raúl Castro is among the six international honorees with this medal, the highest honor conferred by the president of China, Xi Jinping, who will deliver it to 42 personalities in the framework of the 70th anniversary of the birth of that country as a republic.

The Cuban leader will receive the award "for the great contribution and support to the modernization of the socialist cause of the Asian country, to promote exchanges and bilateral cooperation, as well as to safeguard world peace," said the agency Prensa Latina.

He also stressed that his selection is considered "a ratification of the excellent state of 59 years of uninterrupted relations between Havana and Beijing."

The medal is part of the recognition system created by the Chinese government in 2017 and is the highest honor that the President gives to dignitaries and foreign friends for their merits.

The first foreign ruler to receive it was the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in June 2018.

If finally General Raúl Castro travels to China to attend the award ceremony that will take place in the Great People's Palace of Beijing, it will be his fourth visit to the Asian giant, where he was already in 1997, 2005 and 2012.

Cuba and China maintain close political and economic relations, in which the Asian country stands out as one of the main allies of the island and its second trading partner with an exchange that in 2018 reached about 2 billion dollars.

The supplies from the Asian country cover a wide range of products present in practically all sectors of the economic and social life of the island, such as health, education, electronics, transport, information technology, telecommunications and food.

Cuba was, in 1960, the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, which had been created in 1949.

On October 1 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and on that date a military magazine will be held in the iconic Tian Anmen Square, which, as announced, will be the biggest march of its kind in the last two decades .

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