HAVANA (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping says that Cuba's economic reforms could lead to greater commercial ties between the two nations.

Xi's visit to Cuba is part of a nine-day tour of Latin America that has highlighted China's growing ties to the commodities-rich region. He previously visited Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina.

Xi said in a statement reported Tuesday on state website Cubadebate that Cuba "has continued on the road to socialism, firmly guarding state sovereignty while promoting economic growth."

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