Cuban president Raul Castro arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a four-day visit to China during which he is expected to cement ties between the long-time allies, a diplomat said.
Castro will meet China's most senior leaders during his trip, including President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping. His trip to Asia is also expected to include Vietnam.
A diplomat at the Cuban embassy said Castro arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon and had no official events for the rest of the day. Castro is scheduled to meet Hu on Thursday.
The two sides are expected to build on 10 deals signed last year, when Xi visited Castro in Havana, aimed at helping Cuba implement broad economic reforms.
China is Cuba's second largest trade partner, while Vietnam is its main supplier of rice.
Castro is on his first visit to China since assuming the presidency from his brother, Fidel, in 2008.