Xi's Central Asia tour: Let B&R light up SCO
Chinese President Xi Jinping is paying a state visit to Kazakhstan from June 7 to 10 at the invitation of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
During his four-day tour, Xi will also attend the 17th meeting of Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the opening ceremony of the World Expo in Astana.
This is Xi's first foreign visit after the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in mid-May and his third visit to Kazakhstan as a head of state.
The tour is of great significance and has received much attention and high hopes. In September 2013, Xi paid his first state visit to Kazakhstan, during which he put forward the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt for the first time.
Building the Belt and Road together is also the theme of his current visit to the central Asian country that witnessed the birth of the B&R Initiative. The trip is highly anticipated in that it could inject new momentum into the development of the bilateral relations and advance cooperation among the countries along the Belt and Road.
In addition, this year marks the 15th anniversary of signing the SCO Charter. And the region where the SCO countries cover are the key areas of building the Belt and Road.
Xi's tour would further promote B&R cooperation among SCO countries and the spirit of the Silk Road would add new connotations to the SCO's development.
Xi's visit will set an example of building the Belt and Road together and promote the building of a community of shared future for neighboring nations.
By Zhang Maorong, researcher with the International Economics Department, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations; cartoon drawing by Liao Tingting.