Cuba has enjoyed a significant trade relationship with China since the 1990s, though their relationship is a historical one as well. When Cuba declared its independence from the United States in 1902, China’s Qing dynasty quickly recognized Cuba as a sovereign state after its secession in the wake of the Spanish-American war.
Although Cuba and China were not aligned during the Cold War due to Cuba’s alliance with Russia, relations improved after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the point where in 2014, bilateral trade between the two nations equaled about $1.6 billion. Chinese goods in the transportation and energy have contributed to the revitalization of those industries in Cuba. Now, after Irma, China has doubled down in its support of the island nation.