Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel in Beijing on Thursday as he pledged "continued support" for the fellow country.
Diaz-Canel was on his first visit to Asia since taking over as president in April.
The visit comes just days after Washington imposed fresh economic restrictions on Cuba.
Washington's ties with Havana were fully restored in 2015 after more than half a century of enmity, but have deteriorated since President Donald Trump took office last year.
Xi met Diaz-Canel at the colossal Great Hall of the People, where they reviewed Chinese troops in an elaborate welcome ceremony.
During their talks, Xi pledged that China would continue to support Cuba where possible, calling it a "great and remarkable country" that had overcome obstacles to chart its own path, reported state broadcaster CCTV.
"China will firmly support Cuba in defending national sovereignty and taking a socialist road in line with its national conditions," he said.
Xi also invited Cuba to join in his pet project, the Belt and Road Initiative, a globe-spanning trade infrastructure program.
In response, Diaz-Canel said Cuba would take reference from China on developing the domestic economy while renewing its social model.
Communist Cuba was the first country in the western hemisphere to recognize Beijing in 1960.
Beijing is now Havana's top creditor and among its biggest trading partners.