China hopes US will lift Cuba embargo

2014-12-18 13:19
President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation from the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Doug Mills, AFP)

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation from the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Doug Mills, AFP)

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Beijing - China says on Thursday it hopes the United States will lift its economic embargo on Cuba, in place for more than half a century, as the two countries normalise relations.

"China welcomes and supports the normalisation of Cuba-US bilateral ties, and we hope that the US can lift its embargo on Cuba as early as possible," Qin Gang, a foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a regular media briefing in Beijing.

"We cherish our friendship with Cuba, and as we always do, we will continue to support Cuba's choice in their development path."

The US and Cuba moved to end five decades of Cold War hostility on Wednesday, agreeing to revive diplomatic ties in a surprise breakthrough that would also ease a crippling US trade embargo.

In the wake of a prisoner exchange, President Barack Obama said Washington was ready for a "new chapter" in relations with communist Cuba and would re-establish its embassy in Havana, closed since 1961.

Fidel Castro was awarded China's version of the Nobel Peace Prize, reports said earlier this month, with a paper close to the ruling Communist Party hailing the former Cuban leader's "important contributions" to world peace.

Castro beat more than 20 nominees to win this year's "Confucius Peace Prize", the state-run Global Times reported.

The shadowy honour emerged in 2010, when it was suddenly announced two days before jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel to Beijing's anger, sparking speculation the prize was set up with the government's guidance.

Read more on:    cuba  |  us  |  china

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