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China, Kyrgyzstan to boost relations

Updated: 2012-12-05 02:34
By Qin Jize in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Cheng Guangjin in Beijing ( China Daily)

China and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday underlined their growing trade and diplomatic links, and promised more pragmatic economic cooperation, investment and financial aid.

The pledge came during Premier Wen Jiabao's second visit in eight years to the Central Asian country.

China, Kyrgyzstan to boost relations

Premier Wen Jiabao arrives in Bishkek on Tuesday to attend the 11th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and pay an official visit to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev welcomed Wen at the airport. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two sides signed a number of agreements, including economic cooperation, technology, preferential export buyer's credit and geology cooperation, under the watch of Wen and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Jantoro Satybaldiev.

In the meeting with Satybaldiev, Wen said China and Kyrgyzstan have supported each other in major issues concerning each other's core interests and have significant achievement in the fields of the economy, security and humanity.

He said China will continue to offer its sincere help to Kyrgyzstan and believes the country will obtain new achievements in its national construction.

Satybaldiev vowed to promote the implementation of major projects with China, including the construction of a railway connecting China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and cooperation in hydropower.

Located in the heart of Central Asia and bordering China, Kyrgyzstan has been an important partner of China in both economic and security fronts over the past 20 years since diplomatic ties were formally established, analysts said.

Later in the day, Wen also met Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, who visited China in June and attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

The most promising areas in China-Kyrgyzstan bilateral economic cooperation include transportation, energy, mining and interregional and cross-border cooperation, Kyrgyz Ambassador to China Zheenbek Kulubaev said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

"The proximity of our countries and the nature of our partnership are natural elements to establish economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in these areas in the long term," Kulubaev said.

The parties are negotiating for the implementation of a railway project linking China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region with Uzbekistan via Kyrgyzstan and the export of electricity from Kyrgyzstan to China.

Improving road and rail infrastructure will play a significant role in further successful development of economic, trade and tourism relations between Kyrgyzstan and Northwest China, the ambassador said.

Rich in water resources, Kyrgyzstan has great potential in hydropower, and China will also benefit from choosing appropriate projects to jointly develop with its Central Asian neighbor, said Wu Hongwei, researcher at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European, Central Asian Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

There is huge potential for investment between the two countries in many fields, including transportation, trade, tourism, energy and mining industries, Kulubaev said.

"We see China as an important partner and are interested in developing trade and investment of mutual interest," Kulubaev said.

Statistics from Kyrgyz authorities show that in the first three quarters of this year, China-Kyrgyzstan trade reached $874 million, a year-on-year increase of 28.6 percent.

Combating the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism has been another priority in China-Kyrgyzstan cooperation.

"The main objective of the two countries is to ensure peace and stability in both countries and the region as a whole," said the ambassador, adding that only a safe and stable society can ensure economic progress and lay a solid foundation for sustained long-term development.

The two countries, along with other countries in the region, face common threats against stability from "three evil forces", Wu said.

"The region has kept relatively long-term stability, which has been largely attributed to their joint efforts and close cooperation," Wu told China Daily.

Kulubaev said Kyrgyzstan has always been firm on strengthening coordination and cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism, including the East Turkestan terrorist forces, despite the internal political changes in Kyrgyzstan.

Contact the writers at qinjize@chinadaily.com.cn and chengguangjin@chinadaily.com.cn

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