Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev on Thursday in Astana, where they lauded the achievements of the two countries in the 25 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relations.
The two leaders agreed to further cooperation after President Xi attended a welcome ceremony held by his counterpart Nazarbayev.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two in 1992. President Xi said the political trust between the two countries has reached an unprecedented level. He said the high level officials from the two countries have maintained close contact, and the two countries have worked closely in international affairs, supporting each other on core issues. "The width, depth, scale and quality of the cooperation between the two countries have been continued improving, while culture and people-to-people exchanges flourished," Xi said.
Further cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
During their talk on Thursday, the two sides agreed on further cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. They agreed on cooperating together on an economic project called "Bright Path", or "Nurly Zhol" in the Kazakh language, which modernizes roads, railways, ports and civil services in Kazakhstan.
Under the initiative, the two countries will focus on aligning the New Eurasian Land Bridge and the construction of an economic corridor linking China, central Asia and west Asia, with the Kazakh strategy of building an international logistics corridor.
Meanwhile, they will join efforts in connecting the international production capacity cooperation with Kazakhstan's push for industrialization, sharing China's transportation advantages on land and by sea with the world's biggest landlocked country, and linking China's "digital Silk Road" initiative with the "digital Kazakhstan" strategy.
They also agreed to jointly battle terrorism, separatism and extremism, and further cooperate under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The two countries also issued a joint statement, vowing to further promote exchanges in political, economic and cultural affairs.
Joint agreement highlights close bilateral relationship
The joint statement emphasized the maintenance of close relationship between the two countries, such as the mechanism of the prime ministers visiting each other frequently. It also talked about deepened cooperation in areas such as production capacity, interconnection, infrastructure construction, transportation, trade, manufacture, technology, logistics, farming, energy, nuclear power, finance, geology and tourism.
The statement also focused on their coordination and cooperation on the international stage, saying cooperation within international organizations is also necessary, such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and the Asia Europe Meeting, in order to face global and regional challenges together.
"China welcomes the Republic of Kazakhstan becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. China supports the Republic of Kazakhstan playing a positive role in maintaining international peace and security," the joint statement says.
During his visit, President Xi will attend the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO and the opening ceremony of the Expo 2017 Astana.
Xi praises Asia-Europe cross-border transportation project
President Xi Jinping praised a China-Kazakhstan cross-border transportation project as he was briefed on it in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Thursday. President Xi, on a state visit to the Central Asian country, and his counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev heard progress reports on the development of the Lianyungang logistics terminal, which is jointly built by the two countries.
Xi was welcomed by a song in Chinese.
He said the project not only benefits China and Kazakhstan, but also brings benefit and more cooperation opportunities for other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xi, together with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, heard reports from the China COSCO shipping corporation and the China Railway Corporation on the logistics terminal in Lianyungang, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, as well as the Khorgos-East Gate Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kazakhstan.
With an annual handling capacity of 410,000 containers, the Lianyungang logistics terminal specializes in cross-boundary trans-shipment and warehouse businesses.
Xi expressed his hope that the Asia-Europe cross-border transportation project can set a good example for other projects in the initiative.
The briefings took place in the Chinese Pavilion for this year's Expo. The slogan of the 1,000-square-meter venue is "Future Energy, Green Silk Way," presenting the past, present and future of Chinese energy sector development. The Expo is themed by "Future Energy," which aims to call the general public of ensuring green energy development and reducing CO2 emissions at the same time. The Chinese Pavilion is one of the earliest venues erected among the more than 100 countries and organizations participating in the Expo.
Xi also met with his Afghan counterpart, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday, calling for closer cooperation in security and anti-terrorism affairs. The Chinese president said China supports Afghanistan's efforts to maintain domestic security.