On August 29th, Wang Weiguang, the President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), met with a delegation led by Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Cuba's minister of Science, Technology and Environment. Both sides exchanged views on further boosting academic communication and cooperation.
Wang Weiguang first expressed a warm welcome to Pérez. He said that there is a profound friendship between China and Cuba, and mentioned the long-term contacts between China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. He noted that CASS has always stressed exchanges between China and Cuba as well as cooperation with Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. Wang expressed his deep appreciation for the warm and considerate reception given by Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment as he led the CASS delegation to visit Cuba in 2008, adding that since then CASS has had extensive contacts with Cuba in many areas, including the Cuban embassy and Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment.
Pérez said that the delegations’ visit to CASS is an important item on the agenda of their visit to China. She stressed that in recent years there have been increasingly close exchanges and cooperation in social sciences and the humanities between Cuba and China, and so far the two sides have jointly held five academic symposiums, which have helped them to discuss such issues as socialist theories and the respective characteristics of the two countries.
Pérez mentioned that the development outline of the Cuban economic system drawn up after the sixth congress of the Cuban Party attaches greater importance to social sciences and the humanities. She said that Cuba has established relevant special institutions in which the social influence of government economic measures is estimated and the basic principles of building socialism put forward by Cuban leaders are researched theoretically. The minister added that in these institutions many researchers have participated in academic exchanges and cooperation between Cuba and China. She opined that research in social sciences and the humanities has increasingly played a prominent role in Cuban economic and social development, while China has exerted an important effect on it as well. Pérez expressed her hope that in the future the two sides will maintain and strengthen academic communication and cooperation, and push it forward to a new stage. She suggested that ahead of the next symposium between China and Cuba, both sides should make a series of exchanges on subjects such as productivity, socialism and aging as well as their influence on social and economic development, the impact of economic reform measures on society and more.
Wang Weiguang gave a positive response to Pérez’s proposals. He said that he had joined two out of the five academic symposiums, witnessing the extensive and deep exchanges in social sciences between China and Cuba. He noted that the two countries have common views and ideological basics in the social sciences, adding that both sides have many common topics and ideas for socialist construction and reform. Meanwhile, Wang stressed that the two countries have both suffered in history from the bullying of foreign powers, as well as struggled and sacrificed themselves for national independence and liberation. He concluded that both sides have many important issues for exchange in theoretical research.
During the conversation, Wang Weiguang expressed his great respect for Fidel Castro, Cuba’s revolutionary leader. He said that as a hero whom he has very much admired since childhood, Castro is both a great people’s hero of Cuba and a firm Marxist and socialist.
Pérez responded that Fidel Castro, who is considered to be very perseverant by Cubans, admired Chinese people and the Chinese revolution very much, and made deep research into them. She added that other Cuban state leaders have also focused on China, and Castro’s deeds and ideas will be carried forward.
Finally, Wang Weiguang reached a basic consensus with Pérez on the issues concerning the 6th Chinese and Cuban symposium which are to be jointly defined by the Bureau of International Cooperation (BIC) , the Institute of Latin American Studies of CASS and Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
The meeting was attended among others by Zheng Bingwen, Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, Chen Zhongyi, Director of the Institute of Foreign Literature, and Wang Lei, Director of the BIC of CASS.
Translated by Yu Hui