China, neighbors vow closer ties

By Qiang Pen (China Daily/Xinhua)
Updated: 2007-11-05 07:47

Premier Wen Jiabao held talks Sunday with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in the capital Ashgabat, as both sides exchanged views in various fields including security, trade and economy, and cultural exchanges.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov (R) welcomes Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a grand ceremony in the preseidential palace compound in Ashgabat on Sunday. [Xinhua]
China-Turkmenistan relations have a long history and the ancient Silk Road is a strong bond linking the two countries, Wen said in his meeting with Berdymukhamedov.

"China thanks Turkmenistan for its strong support in areas such as the Taiwan question, Tibet and 'East Turkistan' issues," Wen said, adding China will continue to support Turkmenistan's independence, sovereignty and economic development.

Berdymukhamedov emphasized that strengthening Sino-Turkmen relations is in the interests of peoples in both countries and contributes to peace, stability and development in the region.

He said Turkmenistan will work with China to expand collaboration in areas such as construction of oil and gas pipelines, transportation, telecommunication and textiles.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of two documents on the construction of fertilizer and glass plants.

Turkmenistan is the second leg of Wen's four-nation trip, which has already taken him to Uzbekistan and will take him to Belarus and Russia.

Wen arrived in Turkmenistan on Saturday after a two-day official visit to Uzbekistan where he attended the Sixth Meeting of Prime Ministers of Member States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Chinese government regards Uzbekistan as a very important partner in Central Asia and will continue to promote the partnership on the basis of equality, mutual trust and benefit, and common development, Wen said in his meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyaev on Saturday.

During his visit, China and Uzbekistan issued a joint communique pledging further efforts to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.

Uzbekistan reaffirms its adherence to the one-China policy, and recognizes that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, the communiqu said.

"China reiterates its support to Uzbekistan and its leaders in their efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and uphold national dignity, and to maintain domestic stability and develop its national economy. China opposes any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Uzbekistan under the guise of 'human rights'," the communique said.

Wen said he hopes Uzbekistan will work to improve the investment environment so that more Chinese companies could invest in the country and contribute to its economic development.

The two prime ministers also attended the signing ceremony of 10 documents on closer cooperation in various fields including environmental protection, public health, water supply and finance.

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