Kim Jong Un

Castro's death a reminder in China of changed communist axis

In the shadow of east Beijing's soaring glass skyscrapers, elderly retirees still speak nostalgically about their Cuban brothers-in-arm, faraway comrades bound by communist solidarity.

But in central Beijing's halls of power, Cuba is perhaps seen these days as something less romantic: a market for China's booming private-sector exports.

Viewed from the world's largest communist country, Fidel Castro's death is a reminder of how the communist axis has changed beyond recognition since the ideologically charged era when the bearded revolutionary cut a dashing figure on the world stage alongside leaders like Mao Zedong.

After establishing diplomatic relations in 1960, the...