Xi proposes a 'new Silk Road' with Central Asia

Updated: 2013-09-08 07:25

By Wu Jiao in Astana, Kazakhstan and Zhang Yunbi in Beijing (China Daily)

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Xi proposes a 'new Silk Road' with Central Asia

President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) after being awarded an honorary Doctorate from the Nazarbayev University in Astana, on Sept 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Bilateral ties

China and Kazakhstan will achieve an estimated bilateral trade volume of $40 billion in 2015 by improving trade structure, diversity, cooperation scale and quality to tap ties' "enormous potential", Xi said in agreement with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in a talk after the university speech.

Bilateral trade surged to $13.57 billion in the first half of 2013, up 23.1 percent year-on-year.

Both countries' leaders hailed the trust and support for each other's core interests.

They underlined energy cooperation between China and Kazakhstan as "complimentary, mutually beneficial and win-win".

The two sides agreed to ensure cross-border oil and gas pipeline construction and to strengthen oil and gas development and refinement. They will seek new cooperation focuses, including commercial nuclear, new and clean energies.

Enhancing cooperation in other fields - connectivity, agriculture, technology, localities and local currency clearance - are also shared goals.

Xi and Nazarbayev vowed to crack down on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Central Asia and western China have both faced a growing threat of extremist and terrorist penetration in recent years.

The common pursuit of security and stability is "one of the driving forces" that brings China and Central Asia together and deepens their cooperation, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations' Central Asia studies researcher Wang Lijiu said.

Contact the writers at wujiao@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangyunbi@chinadaily.com.cn.

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