President Xi Jinping arrives in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday, kicking off his state visit to the country. He will also attend the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek. (Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily)
President set to attend multilateral meetings during his two-nation trip
President Xi Jinping arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday afternoon to start a Central Asian trip that also will include Tajikistan.
Xi is making a state visit to Kyrgyzstan from Wednesday to Friday at the invitation of Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. He will also attend the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek.
Xi will attend the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, and pay a state visit to the country at the invitation of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
In a signed article published by leading newspaper Slovo Kyrgyzstana and the state-run Kabar News Agency, Xi said China would like to enhance strategic trust, deepen Belt and Road cooperation, and strengthen security cooperation with Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the earliest supporters and participants in Belt and Road cooperation, and major outcomes have been achieved in such areas as trade, energy and infrastructure.
China became Kyrgyzstan's top trading partner and source of investment, with bilateral trade exceeding $5.6 billion last year, a 150-fold increase from the early days of the nations' diplomatic engagement.
Last year, more than 70,000 people traveled between the two countries and over 4,600 Kyrgyz students were studying in China.
Four Confucius Institutes and 21 Confucius Classrooms are operating in Kyrgyzstan, and Bishkek No 95 Middle School, built with Chinese assistance, has become the most popular school in the area.
Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Du Dewen said that the two countries have seen significant achievements under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The BRI has contributed hugely to trade and improved infrastructure connectivity, Du said, adding that China is helping Kyrgyzstan build a major north-south road and repair the capital's streets.