China and Central Asian countries strengthen cooperation

2023-04-27 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and other foreign ministers participate in a ceremony on Wednesday to mark the launch of a special freight train from Xi'an to Central Asia to commemorate the 10th anniversary of starting the Chang'an China-Europe freight train service. (Photo by Feng Yongbin/

China and five Central Asian countries have vowed to support each other to safeguard their respective core interests, strengthen practical cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, interconnectivity and green agriculture, and bolster coordination within multilateral organizations.

The consensus was reached on Wednesday as State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang met respectively with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu, Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kulubaev Zheenbek Moldokanovich, Tajikistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Uzbekistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov and Turkmenistan's First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev are in China for the fourth China-Central Asia foreign ministers' meeting to be held on Thursday.

During their respective meetings on Wednesday, Qin said China will always support Central Asian countries to safeguard sovereignty, independence, security and territorial integrity, firmly support their development paths that meet domestic needs and oppose any external interference in these countries' internal affairs.

China will work with these countries to jointly uphold the basic norms governing international relations, the international system with the UN at its core and international fairness and justice, he said.

Speaking of China-Kazakhstan ties, Qin said the two sides should be guided by the consensus reached between President Xi Jinping and President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and push for the bilateral permanent comprehensive strategic partnership that better benefits the two peoples.

Qin called on China and Kyrgyzstan to give full play to the role of their intergovernmental cooperation committee and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation. He also expressed China's support for Kyrgyzstan to successfully host the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of SCO member states this year.

Referring China and Tajikistan as iron-clad friends, Qin said the two sides should implement the series of consensuses reached between Xi and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon last year, consolidate political mutual trust and promote common development and security.

Qin said the China-Uzbekistan has reached an unprecedented height and urged the two sides to move forward towards the vision of building a community with a shared future and push for more progress to be achieved in bilateral cooperation in all areas.

Speaking of China's relations with Turkmenistan which was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership earlier this year, Qin called on the two countries to bring bilateral ties to new levels under the guidance of the heads of state.

Noting that developing relations with China is a priority of their respective diplomatic agenda, the foreign ministers said they will maintain high-level exchanges with China, promote the joint Belt and Road construction, deepen people-to-people exchanges and fight terrorism, separatism and extremism.

They said the Chinese path to modernization brings new opportunities for the Central Asia and the world and they support the series of global initiatives proposed by China.

The foreign ministers also expressed support for China's legitimate position on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet and their opposition to politicization of human rights.

Qin and the foreign ministers also participated in a ceremony on Wednesday to mark the launch of a special freight train from Xi'an to Central Asia to commemorate the 10th anniversary of starting the Chang'an China-Europe freight train service.

In 2022, the Chang'an China-Europe freight train service operated 4,639 trains, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent. During the period, the train service transported more than four million metric tons of cargo, a year-on-year growth of 43 percent.


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