Saturday, October 21, 2006

China, Cuba sign research accord

Sources:

Digital Granma Internacional: Suscriben Cuba y China convenio de cooperación biotecnológica (English version)

Voice of America News: Cuba y China anuncian nuevo acuerdo en neurotecnología (Spanish only)

This past Thursday, Cuba and China concluded a week-long conference on biotechnology and genetic engineering by signing a joint agreement on neuroscientific research and the development of associated products. This marks the third such agreement between the two countries. China is one of Cuba’s largest trading partners, second only to Venezuela.

The conference, which took place in Havana, reviewed the developments of each nation to date. Cuban researchers discussed advances in cancer treatments and neurology while their Chinese counterparts reviewed developments in new vaccines and cochlear implants adapted to the Chinese language. Another major topic was increased cooperation and collaboration between the public health programs of both nations and the provision of pharmaceuticals.

1) Political tensions prevent Cuba’s engagement in trade with most western countries.

a. To what degree should political choices determine economic relations (e.g., the 40-year North American blockade on Cuba)?

b. China and Cuba are both communist countries, yet China is considerably more integrated into world markets. To what extent is this difference one that Cuba has chosen as opposed to one that has been thrust upon the nation by U.S. disapproval of their political system?

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