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New chapter of friendship will be written by Chinese and Central Asian people together: FM spokesperson

2023-05-17 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin addressed a press conference on Wednesday, answering questions on friendships between China and Central Asian countries.

The following is the transcript.   

CCTV: President Xi Jinping recently replied to the letter written by students from Central Asian countries studying at China University of Petroleum (Beijing). President Xi encourages them to take an active part in promoting friendships between China and Central Asian countries and act as envoys of friendship and bridges of cooperation. Students from Central Asian countries at the university were greatly inspired by the letter and said that they are ready to do more to contribute to and promote China-Central Asia relations. Can you share more with us what people-to-people and cultural exchanges have achieved between China and Central Asian countries?

Wang Wenbin: As President Xi Jinping stated in his reply to students from Central Asian countries at China University of Petroleum (Beijing), China and Central Asian countries are linked by mountains and rivers with profound friendships and a shared future. In the 30-plus years since the diplomatic relations were established, people in China and Central Asian countries have renewed the millennial friendship,reaped fruitful results in such areas as education, culture, health, tourism and sub-national exchange and fostered a multi-faceted framework of people-to-people exchanges.

Education has been a bright spot in such cooperation. The first Confucius Institute signed between China and foreign countries was launched in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent in 2005. So far, we have 13 Confucius Institutes in Central Asia, which are widely welcomed by local people. Many who have studied there have become vital components of China-Central Asia exchanges and cooperation. Last year, the Luban Workshop, an international project in vocational education, was launched in Tajikistan. The advanced equipment and rich education resources of this project provides Central Asia with a new platform for local youths to upgrade their level of education and skills. More and more students from Central Asian countries are either studying in China or hoping to get such a chance. Turkmenistan student Grigoryan Kristina, who has studied in Shanghai University, made a short animated video “The Song of New China” with her Chinese schoolmate, which went viral on the Internet.

Cultural exchange has yielded fruitful results. A movie entitled “The Composer”, a China-Kazakhstan coproduction, tells the story of  friendship between the two peoples reflected in the music of Chinese composer Xian Xinghai and Kazakh composer Bakhitzhan Baykadamov. The preservation and restoration project for historical relics of Khiva in Uzbekistan was completed successfully with the concerted efforts of Chinese and Uzbekistani experts and scholars, giving a new life to the old city. Manas, a Chinese opera, was staged in Kyrgyzstan with great success. Many Central Asian stars like Dimash Kudaibergen have brought their performance to China.

Sub-national exchange has been flourishing. There are 62 pairs of sister provinces, regions and cities between China and Central Asia. Under the China-Europe freight train service, 17 railway routes connect Xi’an with Central Asian countries. As air routes between Xi’an and Dushanbe open, Xi’an will become the only Chinese city with air routes to all the five Central Asian countries.

Tomorrow, China-Central Asia Summit will officially begin. A new chapter of friendship, cultural affinity and a shared future will be written by Chinese and Central Asian people together where the ancient Silk Road began and this millennial bond will become further strengthened.


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