HAVANA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday visited Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in Havana.
The two leaders warmly shook hands, exchanged greetings and had a long conversation in a sincere and friendly atmosphere.
Hu said he was delighted to see Castro again. The comrades of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China "have all cared about your health and I brought their sincere greetings to you," he said.
"I see in person that you have recovered and have been energetic so I feel very pleased," he told Castro.
Castro extended a warm welcome to Hu for his second state visit to Cuba. "We are old friends. I am happy to see that you are as energetic as when I met you last time," he said.
Hu said that as the founder of the Cuban socialist revolution and construction, Castro is dearly adored by the Cuban people. During the past half century, Castro led the heroic Cuban people in their fearless struggle to safeguard state sovereignty and adhere to the path of socialism, thus winning respect from people worldwide, including the Chinese people.
Hu said that Castro has followed closely his country's development, showed great concern about people's life and dedicated himself to profound reflections of major strategic issues, such as international affairs and national development.
"Your thoughts and experience will surely guide the Cuban people to continue their march on the road of socialist construction," he said.
On Sino-Cuban relations, Hu said relations between the two countries have withstood the changes of international situation thanks to the joint efforts to forge and nurture their bilateral ties by generations of Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, and Castro and other Cuban leaders.
"The brotherly friendship between our two countries and two parties has been deeply rooted in the hearts of our two peoples," he said.
"The Chinese people will never forget that thanks to your concern and effort that Cuba became the first Latin American nation to forge diplomatic ties with China 48 years ago," he said.
The Chinese president flew in on Monday for a state visit to Cuba after concluding a state visit to Costa Rica.