Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Astana Thursday for a visit to Kazakhstan, his second to the Central Asian country since he took office in March 2013.[Special coverage]
Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were greeted by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov and First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev at the airport in Astana.
The Chinese president paid his first visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013 and it was in this country that he raised the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Aidar Amrebayev, head of the Institute for World Economy and Politics under the Foundation of First President of Kazakhstan, said the initiative will bring opportunities to the country and serve as a positive factor in maintaining regional stability.
The Central Asian country, which is facing economic difficulties amid a challenging global economy, has a strong desire to strengthen trade and industrial capacity cooperation with China, the world's manufacturing power.P In late 2014, China and Kazakhstan reached preliminary consensus on industrial capacity cooperation worth more than 14 billion U.S. dollars.
The framework deal, inked during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country, covered infrastructure, highway and housing construction.
In March this year, the two countries signed 33 deals on industrial capacity cooperation worth 23.6 billion dollars during Masimov's China visit, covering steel, non-ferrous metals, sheet glass, oil refining, hydropower and automobiles.
With concerted efforts of the two countries, the comprehensive strategic partnership has developed rapidly since Xi's visit and new vitality has been injected into the traditional friendship.
After Kazakhstan, Xi will travel to Russia to attend the ceremony on May 9 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.
Then, he will pay a state visit to Belarus from May 10 to 12 at the invitation of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.