China / Government

Two nations vow to grow energy links

By Qin Jize and Chen Mengwei (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-13 07:53

China is ready to take cooperation with Turkmenistan to new high, president says

China is ready to push cooperation on energy with Turkmenistan to a new high, President Xi Jinping told his counterpart from the Central Asian nation on Thursday.

He made the comment as the two countries renewed their commitment to grow their energy relationship, which has been built on a long-term basis.

Xi referred to Turkmenistan as a "stable" energy partner and told visiting President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov that he hopes the two leaders will maintain close contacts.

The frequency and efficiency of the high-level exchanges will help to expand their partnership on electricity, information technology, agriculture, finance, transportation and other non-energy sectors, Xi said.

He said both countries will work together to build an economic corridor between China and central and western Asia on the principle of co-negotiation, co-construction and co-beneficiaries.

Berdymukhamedov said the main purpose of his two-day trip to Beijing is to congratulate the Chinese people on the 70th anniversary of victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).

He added that China made a major contribution to victory in the World Anti-Fascist War and to setting up postwar international systems.

He said the strategic partnership with China has advanced in many fields, including energy and trade, and stressed that there is still great potential for the two countries to cooperate on transportation infrastructure.

Zhao Huirong, a research fellow of Central Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said cooperation on natural gas between China and Turkmenistan has "great prospects".

"As energy prices are falling globally, the continuously emerging Chinese market has become a very important target for energy exporters like Turkmenistan," Zhao said.

Zhao said she saw a "good match" between Turkmenistan's strong desire to appeal to more gas buyers and China's demand for more natural gas to replace coal as part of its domestic energy reform and fight against pollution.

Turkmenistan provides nearly half of China's annual natural gas imports, and this proportion is likely to continue to grow following bilateral agreements, Zhao said.

China's cooperation on gas with Turkmenistan has also helped to improve cooperation among Central Asian countries, according to the researcher.

"The Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline, which also involves Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, is a multilateral project of real interest to all the nations," Zhao said.

"It has brought a noticeable increase in economic cooperation among those countries."

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