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Nations tout substantial progress in Central Asia

By Wang Qingyun | | Updated: 2022-07-14 03:41
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Politicians and officials from China and Central Asian countries hailed the rapid development of relations over the past three decades and called for closer cooperation in various fields, including trade, regional security and the joint construction of the Belt and Road at a forum on Wednesday.

Delegates from China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization addressed the Ninth China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, which was held both online and offline in the cities of Beijing, Shenyang and Dalian.

Shen Yueyue, vice-chairwoman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, called on China and Central Asian countries to commit to the four principles for developing bilateral ties.

The principles President Xi Jinping put forward at a January summit celebrating the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties are mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times and mutual benefit.

The countries should strengthen high-level exchanges and strategic communication, keep enhancing political mutual trust, expand cooperation in various fields and promote the development of key projects such as the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway, Shen said.

Breakthroughs have been made in cooperation between China and Central Asian countries over the past three decades, creating a model for a new type of inter-country exchange on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to China Shakhrat Nuryshev said.

Routes running through Kazakhstan provide convenient and reliable transport of Chinese-made goods to Europe, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of the Independent States and Central Asia, and Kazakhstan hopes to keep exploring its own potential in location and cross-border transport, Nuryshev said.

Nuryshev said his country hopes to take part in pragmatic cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, such as in green technology and innovation.

Speaking highly of Tajikistan-China ties, Tajikistan's Ambassador to China Saidzoda Zohir Ozod said trade and investment are the priorities of cooperation between the two countries, and called for them to continue to expand bilateral trade.

Tajikistan also supports promoting green energy cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Saidzoda said, adding that Central Asian countries and China should cooperate actively to tackle climate change.

The participants also stressed the need to boost cooperation to maintain regional security and crackdown on cross-border organized crime.

Uzbek Ambassador Farhod Arziev said his country has conducted active cooperation with other Central Asian countries and China to maintain regional stability and security, of which the fight against separatism, extremism and terrorism is a key aspect. Uzbekistan will continue to promote such cooperation as the current SCO chair, he said.

China will work with Central Asian countries to jointly implement the Global Security Initiative and maintain cyber and biological security, Shen said, adding that it firmly opposes external forces interfering in the domestic affairs of countries in the region.

Launched in 2012, the forum aims to boost ties and pragmatic cooperation between China and Central Asian countries and promote international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

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