Socialism with Chinese characteristics and China's reforms over the past decades serve as a "reference" for developing countries, a renowned Cuban analyst has said.
Iroel Sanchez, an academic and former president of the Cuban Book Institute, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that one of China's great achievements is having maintained its socialist system in the midst of deep economic changes.
"China has achieved its transformations in the process of reform and opening-up with political stability and a battle with social problems, such as poverty, to diminish social differences," he said.
Sanchez said China is currently at the forefront in many aspects such as science, technology, and trade and economy, providing an "inevitable reference" for any nation that intends to develop.
"For countries like Cuba that want to build a different model, it is also a reference, not necessarily to copy because the conditions in each country are different, but to study China's experiences on its road of development," he said.
"China has sought to open itself to the world while benefiting the majority of its people with fair social policies. China's economic development is a help to its political independence and sovereignty, and that is the strength of the Chinese society," Sanchez, who is also professor at the University of Havana, said.
In the case of Cuba, he said, the Caribbean island's government started to update its socialist system in 2010 to improve the people's quality of life.
"Cuba has proposed to encourage foreign investment, mildly insert market economy concepts in the planning of its development, and allow a role for the private sector...in certain areas of the economy which have to do with the internal dynamics of the country," he said.
Sanchez said Cuba was making the transformations on the basis of political and social consensus.
Stressing that there are different development paths for different countries, Sanchez said the Western model of development doesn't work everywhere.
"There are serious problems in the world such as climate change, pollution, migratory flows, violence and drug trafficking, issues that have been stimulated by the Western model of development," he said.
In Africa, for example, he said, countries assuming the Western development model have to surrender their wealth to the world's big companies.
"That has resulted in ...social and political instability in that region. The West wants to impose a model on developing countries without taking into account their culture, tradition and history," he said.