Cuba Wins Award at Beijing's Tourist Expo, BITE 2018

Beijing, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba won today the prize for Best Organizing Team in the 15th edition of the Beijing International Tourism Fair (BITE 2018), which was held over three days with almost a thousand national and international participants.

The island's stand presented offers from Gaviota Group, Habanos S.A., Havana Club International S.A. and Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos Cubanos (Cuban Medical Services Marketer) S.A.

Representatives also included Chinese agencies with business in the Caribbean country.

The stand promoted several travel packages at BITE 2018, including renowned rum brands such as Havana Club and Mulata, honey and medicines from BioCubaFarma.

The Cuban delegation highlighted the presence of a twister who prepared for the public coveted cigars such as Cohiba, Partagas and Monte Cristo.

Since the opening of the event last Friday morning, the Cuban stand has been one of the most visited for its variety and authenticity.

Last year, it won the popularity award for high visitor numbers.

The economic-commercial attaché of the Cuban embassy, Yohanely Savigne, told Prensa Latina they have been successfully participating in BITE for years and have come to this edition with pre-established appointments with travel agencies from China.

'It is evidence of interest in the Cuban market in Latin America and the Caribbean,' Savigne added.

The event brought together Chinese tour operators from Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Thailand, Ivory Coast and Germany, among other countries, as well as companies from other sectors linked to the touristic industry.

Companies dedicated to providing health care, food, robotics, telecommunications, manufacturing, sports and handicrafts attended the expo.

  • Published in Cuba

How US-China Dispute May Turn Into Trade War With No End in Sight

China is not going to bend under Donald Trump's pressure, analysts told Sputnik, referring to Beijing's recent statement issued after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' visit to the country. According to the analysts, the ongoing dispute risks turning into a new round of a trade war.

China and the United States can cooperate in the sphere of trade, but if Washington takes measures against Beijing, the latter will certainly respond in a tit-for-tat manner, said Bian Yongzu, a researcher with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the People's University of China.

"If the US deliberately creates trade barriers and provokes a trade war, then this is not a market problem, it is already a political problem," Bian told Sputnik China. "Problems cannot be solved this way. According to some experts, the US is deliberately exerting pressure on China."

On May 29 the Trump administration signaled that the tariff war is far from being over: "the United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the 'Made in China 2025' program," the statement said specifying that the measures will take effect on June 15 and 30.

The announcement preceded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' summit with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on June 2-3 in Beijing.

In response to Washington's sudden change of heart which de facto undermined the May 19 joint statement on the suspension of the tariff frictions, Beijing made it clear that once the US imposes new restrictions on Chinese imports, it would nullify all previous agreements reached by the sides.

"China does not demonstrate cowardice, but at the same time does not exert pressure on the US amid trade frictions," Bian pointed out, stressing that Beijing has "a whole set of adequate countermeasures" to respond to Washington's tariff war.

He added that while "China and the United States can sit down at the negotiating table calmly, it means that there remains an opportunity to solve the problem and both sides can achieve the desired results from the negotiations."

According to observers, the US representative has not gained any tangible results during the recent meeting.

For their part, the Chinese have issued a statement saying that China is willing to increase imports from other countries, "including the US," to address the needs of the population of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

"All economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the US imposes any trade sanctions including raising tariffs," the statement emphasized.

According to Andrei Volodin, an analyst at the Institute of Contemporary International Studies of the Diplomatic Academy, Trump's assertiveness was resisted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who does not intend to give in without reciprocal moves on the part of the US.

"China behaves logically, because the US trade deficit is the result of the inefficient American economy," the Russian academic opined. "The US deficit in trade with China began to reach its peak in 2005-2006. At that time, China was not so active either in the US market or in the global economy. Therefore, one could say that China's 'dumping prices' didn't affect the American economy. China understands this perfectly. It also makes it clear that its huge financial resources are invested in US securities, which means that the two countries will have to negotiate."

For its part, Chinese media outlet Global Times presumed that the ongoing trade dispute could become a "protracted" one: "Given the US may change its mind and make new requests from time to time, it is difficult for both sides to nail down a consistent trade pact and stabilize their trade relationship."

Now it all depends on whether the US will give up its plan to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods on June 15. If Trump's threats become reality the trade war will continue to gain pace.

Meanwhile, China is seeking opportunities to beef up its presence on global markets. Speaking to Xinhua, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui singled out the Eurasian Economic Union which has "great potential" according to the diplomat. On May 17, the EAEU and China inked an agreement on trade and economic cooperation in Astana.

  • Published in World


Brazil's Tandara Caixeta led the way with 19 points as her side carved out an epic 3-2 (19-25, 25-23, 27-25, 10-25, 16-14) victory over China in women's third-round action at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Tuesday.

It was a result that could have gone either way right until the death and had the crowd inside the Jiangmen Sports Centre screaming to the rafters. But Brazil stole a small break in the last - and held on for dear life with wing spiker Caixeta's heroics being ably supported by middle blocker Adenizia Da Silva( 14 points including seven blocks) and wing spiker Amanda Francisco (13 points).

Brazil coach José Roberto Guimarães wisely saw a Chinese finger touch the ball and questioned the call that decided the match. But there were heroic efforts from both camps across the court.

China's superstar spiker Zhu Ting had stepped up when in mattered against her team's arch-rivals, registering a sensational game-high 34 points that included 27 spikes and five blocks. Her efforts were backed by middle blocker Yuan Xinyue with 16 points and another promising effort from the 18-year-old opposite spiker Li Yingying who picked up 12 points - and plenty of court time.

China coach Lang Ping has been experimenting with her line-up over the course of the first three rounds of the VNL - and even allowed Zhu a break from all action entirely over the first two. But such is the strength of the teams they have drawn for this fourth round - added to the fact that they are playing in front of their faithful fans - that the smart money is on China giving their main stars plenty of chances to shine this week.

Centre of all the attention will of course by the 23-year-old Zhu and she was in the thick of things from the first set, using her incredible reach and leap to punish Brazil with some powerful spikes.

But there's no doubt Brazilian memories still reach back to the Rio Olympics and the marathon 3-2 loss to the Chinese that is now part of volleyball lore.

That China also came in on a four-match winning streak over the South Americans was also reason for them lift, if indeed any more was needed.

Brazil clawed their way back into the match in the second set - an enormous stuff block from Da Silva to make it 9-10 was a highlight - and gradually their defensive work started to gel. It was another disputed call that swayed the third set - right when it looked China's for the taking.

The Brazilians benefited from a ball that looked to graze a fingernail only at set point to China, before edging their rivals 27-25.

But the call only seemed to inspire China, and Zhu especially, as they powered through the fourth.The tension in the last was palpable - and the Brazilians held their nerve.

The reward for Brazil (9-1) is an encounter on Wednesday with fellow table toppers the USA (9-1), while China (5-5)) will next face Russia (6-4).

  • Published in Sports

China, Russia Call for Respecting Venezuela Elections, Condemn US Intervention

President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes.

A day after the Venezuelan general elections, China and Russia called Monday for respecting the country's democratic process and rejected attempts of interfence by the United States and other regional powers. 

RELATED: Cuba: Diaz-Canel, Raul Castro Congratulate Maduro

"The parties involved must respect the decision of the Venezuelan people," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a press conference in Beijing, as he encouraged resolving any dispute through legal channels, EFE reported. 

Kang affirmed China's policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other countries and was convinced that the Venezuelan government and citizens will be able to resolve the issues.  "China will address the relevant issues in accordance with diplomatic practice," the spokesman added. 

President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the country's National Electoral Council (CNE) reported.  

The opposition candidate, former governor, Henri Falcón came second after Maduro - and the evangelical expiator Javier Bertucci have made accusations of irregularities. 

Maduro's win comes at a time when the United States and its right-wing regional allies as well as several European governments have made several attempts to intervene in Venezuela's presidential elections through sanctions and boycott calls against the Venezuelan election saying they won't recognize the results, policies that were rejected by the Russian Foreign Ministry Monday.  

"We regrettably have to note that in these elections, in addition to the two traditional participants, that is, the Venezuelan people, the electors, on the one hand, and on the other the candidates who presented their programs ... there was a third participant, the governments who openly called for a boycott of the vote," said Alexánder Schetinin, director of the Latin American Department of the Foreign Ministry.  

Schetinin also added that Russia is often accused of meddling in other countries' elections but in Venezuela's case, some countries have meddled indiscriminately.

He added that some countries put obstacles "among others to hinder the voting in their territories of Venezuelans who are abroad." 

"And even worse when a whole series of governments, including the one you are appointing (United States), a priori declared that they would not recognize the results," he said during a press conference, the Interfax news agency reported. 

"The elections have been held and their results have an irreversible character: two-thirds of the votes went to the current president of the country, Nicolás Maduro," he concluded. 

While Many countries in Latin America have recognized the Venezuelan elections and congratulated President Maduro, such as Cuba, Bolivia and El Salvador, right-wing governments in the region have dismissed the vote as "illegtimate" echoing statements by the U.S. and Canada and some Western countries who had dismissed the vote and teh results before the election had even taken place.

The so-called Lima Group plus Canada issued a statement Monday saying it did not recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela's presidential election. The statement said the countries would call their ambassadors back from Caracas for consultations and hold a meeting to coordinate a regional response to what they call "crisis" in Venezuela. They also said they would seek a new resolution on "the situation" in the South American country.

Such attempts of interference into Venezuela's internal affairs have repeatedly been rejected over the past few months by the government in Caracas as well as left-wing governments in the region.

The Lima Group includes Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Santa Lucia, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

  • Published in World

China delivers two solar panel parks to Cuba

China delivered two solar panel parks to Cuba on Thursday, as part of bilateral cooperation in renewable energies.

In an event held in Yaguaramas town in the central province of Cienfuegos, Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Chen Xi handed the management of the two parks over to the Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines.

"These two parks have a total capacity of 9 megawatts (MW) and the one in Yaguaramas is the largest in Cuba with 19,440 solar panels installed," Chen said.

After 18 months of construction, the two parks, one in the western province of Pinar del Rio and the other in Yaguaramas, started operations in February.

"This is a sign of friendship and willingness by the Chinese government towards the Cuban people. The confidence, brotherhood and solidarity between our countries grow day by day," Chen said.

Meanwhile, Cuba's Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Ruben Cid stressed that these facilities are part of a solar panel project financed by the Ministry of Commerce of China with a total capacity of 21 MW.

Cid said China has actively participated in the renewable energy program that seeks to generate 24 percent of electricity in Cuba by 2030.

"To date we have worked intensely with Chinese companies and institutions to carry out two wind farms in the province of Las Tunas, 319 MW in generation through solar panel parks and several bioelectric plants next to sugar refineries," he said.

He added that Cuba plans to build 25 bioelectric plants with a generation capacity of 755 MW as well as 14 wind farms to produce 656 MW by 2030.

Also, the country expects to install a capacity of 700 MW in solar panel parks and build 74 small hydroelectric plants to generate 56 MW.

  • Published in Cuba

China riding wave of success

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 18, 2018 - Introducing the top teams in the current world rankings, the first installment in this series takes a look at the team ranked number 1 in women's volleyball - Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games gold medallists China.

The 2015 FIVB World Cup winners, 2016 Olympic champions and 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winners – China’s women have won a major international volleyball title in each of the last three years.

They would love to make it two in 2018. As the number one team in the world, the ladies from the Middle Kingdom go into the keenly-anticipated inaugural season of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League as the hot favourite.

The competition takes on even greater importance when you look at last season, when the Chinese had to settle for a disappointing fourth place at the final round of the last ever FIVB World Grand Prix on home soil in Nanjing.

This year also throws up a second highlight, in the form of the Japan 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championships. China are hungry to win gold again, after 32 years – last time out, in 2014, they had to make do with the silver medal, following a final defeat to the USA.

“My team and I try to win every match. I hope the Chinese women's volleyball team will always develop and become better,” said Zhu Ting in an interview with the FIVB.

Coming from the mouth of the captain of the national team, this sounds almost like a threat to the opposition. After all, China has been the outstanding team in recent years, and MVP Zhu Ting has been a huge part of that success. The team and the millions of fans in China are looking forward to the FIVB Nations League – particularly as they will welcome the top teams to their home tournaments.

China faces the Dominican Republic, Belgium and South Korea on the opening weekend in Ningbo, China, from 15th to 17th May. Following tournaments in Macau and Hong Kong, they then return to Jianmen for the showdown against fellow favourites Brazil, who won the last FIVB World Grand Prix, world champions the USA, and record world champions Russia. These are exactly the matches the fans want to see – and the FIVB Volleyball Nations League is making this possible.

The “eternal” duel with Brazil enters its next round in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. In 2017, the South Americans won the first title of the season at the FIVB World Grand Prix – in China, of all places.

China then took revenge at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Grand Champions Cup. They defeated their South American rivals 3-2 (25-20, 25-12, 20-25, 23-25, 19-17) in what proved to be the decisive match of the six-team tournament, which was played in a round robin format. The Chinese fended off two match points to clinch that all-important victory, which was a repeat of the Olympic quarter-final in Rio, where China ended Brazilian dreams of a home win. It goes without saying that the match winner in a top-class game at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium was Zhu Ting with 33 points.

It ultimately came down to a battle of nerves between two outstanding teams, and Zhu Ting made the difference with a total of 100 points from China’s five victories. The hitter was also leading scorer.

Even after this latest success, China’s coach An Jiajie still sees room for improvement: “We are very happy to be the champions and I want to express my deep gratitude to my players and coaches. There is still room for improvement in critical areas and that will be our next challenge. It was the first year of the new Olympic cycle, so this was an important year for us.”

China will aim to make 2018 another memorable year – by continuing their title-winning run in the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Star of the team: Zhu Ting
Zhu Ting (23) is currently regarded as probably the best female volleyball player in the world. In 2015, she guided her Chinese team to success at the FIVB World Cup as the tournament’s MVP. One year later, she was again named MVP as she helped China to a historic gold at the Olympic Games in Rio.

In 2017, she won the FIVB Club World Championship with her new club Vakifbank Istanbul and was awarded MVP again. Zhu Ting also won the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup with China – naturally as the outstanding player and MVP. Despite her young age, the extraordinary hitter is now captain of the Chinese team. In spite of all this success, she has kept her feet planted firmly on the ground: “Volleyball is a wonderful sport. That’s important for me, and my team is important.”

Zhu Ting is a star in China, and is recognised when she walks down the street. A lot of her success is down to legendary coach “Jenny” Lang Ping, who led the team to Olympic success in Rio, among other titles: “It's very important that Lang Ping taught me a lot of techniques. I’m as good as I am and have today's technology thanks to Lang Ping. I'm very lucky in volleyball, because so many people helped me on my way. I wouldn’t be here without them. Talent and hard work are equally important.” Zhu Ting is looking to add to what is already a remarkable career – at least by the 2024 Olympic Games.

  • Published in Sports

U.S: Time Bomb?

The U.S. president has been characterized by his rhetoric so far. But his recent decisions set off alarms among the world’s most distinguished politicians and experts.

The imposition of duties to the People’s Republic of China is a major threat to the international order.

Such decision emerges when the world is going through a bloodcurdling economic crisis that has several nations unsettled. In this regard, misery, unemployment, and other social disasters are multiplied.

World observers highlight that such marked protectionism leads to limit multilateralism and affects international trade.

As soon as Trump announced the decision, the Wall Street Stock Exchange dropped and a response of the People’s Republic of China is awaited.

Thus, Washington creates a climate of insecurity, which affects some of the world’s markets.

That is, as the Spanish newspaper EL PAIS stated: “The unforeseen event or black swan that could jeopardize global growth this year. We fear it and it is happening.”

The newspaper also notes that the imposition of duties is an exercise of paranoia and a clear example of the ignorance of the elementary economic principles.

The effects of such procedure are materialized in the decline in growth, higher inflation, and unemployment.

These measures result in chaos and uncertainty in an already deteriorated international trade.

The abovementioned fact ratifies a U.S. policy that distances itself from the international economic cooperation and aims to damage the economy of million people all around the world.

The appointment of “Hawk” John Bolton as national security adviser confirms it. Bolton supports the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran and promotes a military confrontation with North Korea.

The early dismissal of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and Gary Cohn as main economic consultant in the White House corroborates the far-right trend and aggressive nationalism of the Trump Administration.

Europe will suffer the effects of such mess created by the multimillionaire in an already messy world.

There is one fact we cannot miss. There will be elections in the U.S. in November.

Therefore, most of voters, who have greatly suffer Trump’s insane notions, will have the ability to change their future.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff

US Is Stepping on the Cuban Rake Again

The relations with the Republic of Cuba have long been one of the most painful problems of the United States. Even after the withdrawal of its main ally – the USSR – from the global stage, all the US attempts to get Cuba under its influence have failed. Lately, Cuba has acquired a new strong ally – China.

The deterioration of the US-Cuban relations occurred in the middle of the 20th century due to a number of mistakes made by the US leadership. In the 19th century, America helped Cuba in its struggle for independence from Spain. Since that time, it has considered this small island state as a part of its area of influence ignoring construction of mutually beneficial cooperation. After the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the new leader of the Republic of Cuba Fidel Castro visited the USA. However, the American President of that time Dwight Eisenhower refused to meet. Such neglect on the part of the American leadership accelerated the downfall of the US-Cuban relations and promoted the strengthening of cooperation between Cuba and the USSR.

Soon, expulsion of the American capital from the Island of Freedom began. Many companies, banks, and factories owned by the US citizens were nationalized.

Instead of taking attempts on establishing friendly relations, America responded by strong economic and political pressure. In 1960, America stopped the oil supply to Cuba and imports of the Cuban sugar. It was a strong blow for the Cuban economy. However, the Soviet Union came for assistance. In 1961, Fidel Castro announced the socialist orientation of the Cuba, after which America ruptured diplomatic relations with it. In early 1962, Washington imposed a ban on trade with Cuba for all American companies.

Very soon America paid a heavy price for underestimation of the new Cuban leadership and for its habit of solving issues by force. In autumn 1962, the Soviet missiles with nuclear warheads were located on the Island of Freedom, after which the Cuban missile crisis broke out putting the USA on the verge of a nuclear war with the USSR. Perhaps, it was the time when the USA felt sorry for its policy towards Republic of Cuba. The isle of Cuba is located 180 km away from the US coast, and missiles located there could easily reach Washington and many other strategic facilities in America.

Fortunately, military clash was prevented. Nonetheless, the opposition between the USA and Cuba continued even after the USSR breakup.

Some thaw in relations was reached during the presidency of Barack Obama (2008-2016). The weakening of the US economic sanctions against Cuba started in early 2015. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed in July 2015. A number of trade barriers were lifted in 2015-2016. Certain categories of the US citizens were allowed to visit Cuba. The air service between the countries was also resumed.

However, these insignificant achievements were brought to naught after the acting US President Donald J. Trump moved to the Office. Prior to his election in November 2016, Trump stated that America made too many concessions for the Republic of Cuba to the detriment of its own interests. Donald Trump also announced his intention to cancel the decision of Barack Obama if the Cuban leadership failed to meet a number of US requirements.

In June 2017, Donald Trump announced cancellation of the US-Cuban agreement on normalization of relations due to the violation of the human rights in the Republic of Cuba. He demanded the Cuban government to elaborate a new agreement that meets the US interests. The Republic of Cuba flatly refused.

In November 2017, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Cuba. The American citizens are prohibited to carry out financial transactions with institutions related to the Cuban security agencies and make private educational visits to Cuba.

The story of the 1960s, when the rough US policy pushed Cuba away and contributed to the development of relations with the USSR, is apparently repeating. The difference is that now the leader of the communist world is the People’s Republic of China.

China has long been a reliable partner for Cuba. Cuba was the first Latin American country to recognize China as a country in 1960 and established diplomatic relations with it.

In 2008, China’s leader Hu Jintao declared that the Communist Party of China intended to keep friendship with Cuba and support it in building socialism and confronting the United States.

Now the economic and political interaction between Cuba and China is experiencing a period of the rapid development. In 2015, the Chinese imports to Cuba reached a record level of $1.9 billion. Cuba buys Chinese automobile and agricultural equipment, household appliances, PCs, and many other goods. China’s business is rapidly developing on the Island of Freedom. In early 2017, the media reported China’s intention to invest about $500 million in the new resort close to Havana. The Chinese Haier factory producing computer hardware launched its work in Cuba in 2017. In early 2018, the Chinese-Cuban projects in the sphere of renewable energy resources have started, and China is planning to give a loan worth $120 million to Cuba for this purpose. China has already became Cuba’s main creditor.

The growing presence of China in close proximity to the US territory causes anxiety of many American politicians, but Trump’s administration stubbornly continues its policy. As it was a half the century ago, it results in a number of unpleasant consequences for America.

As mentioned above, the isles of the Republic of Cuba are in close proximity to the USA. Therefore, the deployment of the nuclear weapon in Cuba was important for the USSR under its project of containment their possible enemy – the USA.

In addition, the importance of Cuba’s location is not only in the proximity to the USA but to the Panama Canal as well. This Canal that separates the two American continents and unites the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans has huge importance for the global trade. About 5% of the cargo shipping on the planet passes through it.

As you know, the main task for the Chinese foreign policy now is the implementation of the project the One Belt – One Road (OBOR), under which China and its partners intend to create a global transport system. While speaking about the OBOR, they usually mean the merger of the Eurasian and African countries in one transport network. In fact, this project does not have restrictions, and the Latin American states also perfectly fit into it. Cuba is not the only country where China expands its presence. China is working actively with all the states and pushing out America from them at the same time. Even now China is the main trade partner of Brazil, Peru, and Chile – the most economically developed countries of South America. It also develops cooperation with Mexico. Every year, China’s influence is also growing in Panama, through which territory the Panama Canal flows.

However, Cuba has particular importance as a possible stronghold of China in the Caribbean Sea. If China, as the USSR back in the day receives permission from the Cuban authorities to deploy its armed forces on the island, it will be able to ensure the safety of navigation through the Panama Canal and control all shipping in the Caribbean Sea. This fact will finally turn China in the prime force in Latin America and put an end to the US domination in this region.

  • Published in Cuba
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