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Close ties with Central Asia

By Yao Peisheng | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-02 09:46

President Xi Jinping's upcoming tour will further promote cooperation and boost relations between China and the region

President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visits to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan from Sept 3 to 13 is another major diplomatic move by China's new leadership that has great significance.

First, the trip will help enhance mutual trust between China and the four Central Asian countries. Over the past 20-plus years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Central Asian countries have been adhering to the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual trust, mutual assistance and win-win cooperation. China firmly supports Central Asian countries choosing their own independent development paths and their efforts to maintain their sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security, and it has never interfered in their internal affairs for any reason or in any way. Meanwhile, Central Asian countries have always supported China's stance and policies on issues concerning its core interests. On major international issues, the two sides have exchanged information and coordinated their positions in a timely manner.

The established political mutual trust lays a solid foundation for the stable development of their relations. It can be said that China and the Central Asian countries have become good partners and friends in a genuine sense and their good-neighborly relations and cooperation have withstood the test of time. During his trip Xi will exchange in-depth views with the four heads of state on how to further boost bilateral relations. Without doubt, his tour will add new impetus to the building of political mutual trust.

Second, the trip will help deepen practical cooperation. Central Asia has unique geographic advantages. As early as 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected China to the rest of the world via Central Asia. Over the years, China and Central Asian countries have been busy working on ways to create a modern equivalent to the Silk Road, including the accelerated upgrading of highways and the building of air transport facilities in the region, to expand practical cooperation in the real economy. The planned construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway will greatly shorten the distance between China and Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and when it is completed Central Asia's geographic advantages will be brought fully into play.

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