- China establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba; however, there is no significant
contact between the nations during the Cold War.
visits between the Chinese and Cuban Foreign Ministers begin, and bi-lateral relations
- November - Chinese President Hu Jintao signs 16 agreements with Cuban
leader Fidel Castro, and agrees to invest in the islands tourism, bio-technology
and mining sectors. China also agrees to a 10-year extension for repayment of
loans given to Cuba in the 1990s.
- Discusses establishing a direct air route between the two capitals, making Havana
a gateway for Chinese tourists touring South America. China is one of the most
important tourist source countries in the world, and Cuba is the first nation
in the Western Hemisphere to gain Approved Destination Status (ADS)
from the Chinese government.
sectors - Currently Cuba's chief export is nickel, as Cuba has the
third-largest nickel reserve in the world. China has an increasing need
for nickel due to its growing manufactoring sector. Castro agreed to allow Chinese
investors to explore nickel in undisclosed locations on the island, and reactivate
a nickel plant abandoned by the Soviets a decade ago. Cuba predicts efforts will
double their nickel output.
Cuba exports mainly nickel and sugar to China, China exports mostly machinery
and electronic products to Cuba. China ranks as Cuba's 3rd largest trading partner
after Venezuela and Spain. The trade volume between the two nations increased
by 36% in 2004 alone.
- Senior Chinese Communist Party leader Jia Quiglin visits Castro to discuss
continued economic and political ties.
President Hu Jintao (L) and Cuban President Fidel Castro wave during their meeting
at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, November 22, 2004. [Reuters]