China eyes more ties with Central Asia

2023-09-11 09:27:47China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Forum seen as opportunity to enhance mutual learning, deepen cooperation

President Xi Jinping said that China-Central Asia cooperation "has much to achieve and will achieve much" under the new circumstances.

Xi made the comment in a congratulatory message sent to the 10th China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, which opened on Saturday in Xiamen, Fujian province.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative being proposed, and the China-Central Asia Summit was convened in May, marking a milestone in two-way interactions.

Xi emphasized that China and the five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — have taken the lead in jointly advancing the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and their relations "have entered a new era".

Elaborating on the forum, he noted that since its founding, its scale and influence have expanded gradually.

Through the forum, China and Central Asian countries seek common cooperation and shared development. It has greatly enhanced mutual understanding and traditional friendship and written a new chapter in good-neighborly friendship and common progress, Xi wrote.

Xi expressed his hope that all parties will take the forum as an opportunity to strengthen mutual learning, deepen cooperation in jointly developing the Belt and Road Initiative, and promote more fruitful results in developing relations between China and Central Asian countries.

The theme of the forum this year is advancing friendly relationships and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation.

More than 400 guests attended the forum organized by the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Commission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Fujian provincial people's government.

Shen Yueyue, vice-chairwoman of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and chairwoman of the commission, read out Xi's letter at the forum.

She noted that the event is a tangible measure to implement leaders' consensus made at the China-Central Asia Summit.

Leaders, officials and scholars said that Xi's letter has "injected confidence and strength" into efforts for furthering friendly relations and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation.

Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Zulaykho Mahkamova said that Xi "has laid out a promising prospect for the development of relations between China and Central Asian countries and will certainly help all parties to carry out fruitful cooperation".

"We are full of confidence about China-Central Asia cooperation," she said.

Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, noted that last year, China and the five Central Asian countries announced the joint decision of building a China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

"With the progress of China-Central Asia cooperation and the buildup of relevant mechanisms, we look forward to achieving more practical results and bringing tangible benefits to the people of the region," he said.


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