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Xi Jinping Chairs the Virtual Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between China and Central Asian Countries
2022-01-25 23:55

On the afternoon of January 25, 2022, President Xi Jinping chaired the Virtual Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between China and Central Asian Countries in Beijing. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the summit.

Xi Jinping and the five heads of state watched the video of historic moments in the development of China's relations with Central Asian countries, summing up experience and looking into the future in a warm, grand and friendly atmosphere. Xi Jinping delivered an important speech titled "Joining Hands for a Shared Future".

Xi Jinping pointed out, 30 years ago, China took the lead in establishing diplomatic relations with Central Asian countries, opening the door to bilateral exchanges and cooperation. Over the past 30 years, we have followed the trend of the times, honored commitment and promoted amity. On the basis of mutual understanding and accommodation, we have completely resolved boundary issues left from history, blazing a new trail of good-neighborly friendship and win-win cooperation, and setting a good example of fostering a new type of international relations. We have joined hands in a common pursuit of development. Belt and Road cooperation is burgeoning and bearing fruits in Central Asia. We have shared weal and woe, pursued common security and firmly upheld our common security interests and peace and stability in our region. We have enhanced mutual understanding and affinity through mutual exchanges. We have formed a stirring symphony of Chinese and Central Asian people supporting each other through thick and thin. We have stood by each other and staunchly upheld justice. We have rendered mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests and thus safeguarded our legitimate rights and strategic interests.

Xi Jinping stressed that the key to the successful cooperation between China and the five Central Asian countries over the past three decades lies in our abiding commitment to mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times, and mutual benefit. These four principles are valuable experience and shared asset we have gained from cooperation; they are a political guarantee for the steady and sustained growth of China's relations with Central Asian countries; they are a source of inspiration for China and Central Asian countries to further advance friendly exchanges. No matter how the international landscape may evolve or how developed China may grow, China will always remain a good neighbor, a good partner, a good friend, and a good brother that Central Asian countries can trust and count on. China will firmly support Central Asian countries in following development paths tailored to their national realities, firmly support them in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, firmly support them in pursuing national revitalization and greater strength through unity, and firmly support them in playing a bigger role on the world stage. China stands ready to work with Central Asian countries to build an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

Xi Jinping made the following five proposals.

First, we need to magnify the exemplary role of good-neighborly friendship. China will act on the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and work with Central Asian countries to step up high-level exchanges and strategic communication and make the "China plus Central Asia" foreign ministers' meeting and other dialogue and cooperation mechanisms a continued success. This way, we will further enhance solidarity and mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and achieve common development and prosperity. We firmly oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

Second, we need to build a cooperation belt for high-quality development. China is ready to open its vast market to Central Asian countries. We will import more quality goods and agricultural products from countries in the region, and continue to hold the China-Central Asia economic and trade cooperation forum. China proposes establishing a dialogue mechanism on e-commerce cooperation among our countries, and holding a forum on industrial and investment cooperation when appropriate. We will establish "fast tracks" to facilitate the flow of people, and improve "green lanes" to ensure unimpeded flow of goods. We will speed up the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, and further develop transport corridors connecting China and Central Asia. We need to ensure the steady operation of our oil and gas pipelines, expand cooperation across the energy industrial chain, and strengthen cooperation in artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and other high-tech sectors.

Third, we need to strengthen the shield for defending peace. We must continue to combat terrorist, extremist and separatist forces, deepen cooperation in areas such as border management and control, and strengthen the regional security net. China will continue to provide vaccines and anti-pandemic supplies to Central Asian countries, and step up joint production and technology transfer with respect to COVID vaccines and medicines. In 2022, China will provide an additional aid of 50 million doses of vaccine to Central Asian countries, and set up traditional medicine centers in countries with such need. China also calls for the establishment of a China-Central Asia health industry alliance.

Fourth, we need to build a family with diverse interactions. We need to foster a framework of people-to-people exchanges, speed up the establishment of culture centers in each other's country, actively conduct dialogue on cultural heritage, and continue to promote exchanges between women, think tanks, media and in other fields. China will build platforms for Central Asian countries to promote their tourism resources, and stands ready to make all five Central Asian countries approved destinations for Chinese tourists. China proposes to hold a China-Central Asia people-to-people friendship forum, and will strive to bring the number of sister cities with the five countries to 100 pairs in the next five to ten years. In the next five years, China will provide 1,200 government scholarships to the five Central Asian countries. We will also hold events including a China-Central Asia youth arts festival and a "Bridge of the Future" China-Central Asia young leaders camp.

Fifth, we need to protect the global village that enjoys peace and development. Not long ago, I proposed the Global Development Initiative at the United Nations, and called for joint efforts to tackle risks and challenges and advance the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. I wish to announce that in the next three years, the Chinese government will provide a grant assistance of 500 million U.S. dollars to Central Asian countries in support of livelihood programs, and offer 5,000 seminar and workshop opportunities to help Central Asian countries train professionals in health, poverty reduction for agricultural development, connectivity, information technology and other fields and strengthen the driving force for self-generated development.

Xi Jinping stressed at last that as an ancient Chinese saying goes, "Even the shortest journey can't be finished without taking the first step. Even the most trivial task can't be completed without taking actions." To promote the well-being of the people of our six countries, let us renew our friendship, advance cooperation, and work together to create a brighter future for the relations between China and Central Asian countries and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Heads of state of the five Central Asian countries thanked China for proposing and chairing this historic virtual summit, spoke highly of China's achievements in development, and appreciated China's important contributions to regional and world peace and development. They also made active comments on the fruitful achievements in the development of relations between Central Asian countries and China over the past 30 years and held that the development of relations between Central Asian countries and China has not only promoted each other's development and prosperity, but also effectively safeguarded regional peace and stability, setting a good example of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. The long boundaries between countries are no longer "barriers between countries like the Chu River and Han Border", but a bridge and bond of good-neighborly friendship between each other's peoples. China's valuable support for the five countries as well as vaccines, anti-pandemic supplies and other supports for the five countries to fight against the COVID-19 have long been the witness of the indestructible friendship between Central Asian countries and China.

The five heads of state expressed their full agreement with President Xi Jinping's proposals on future relations between China and Central Asian countries. They are ready to take the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as a new starting point to jointly build a strategic partnership featuring rich connotation, fruitful results and lasting friendship, build a Central Asia-China community with a shared future and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. All countries will firmly support each other's choice of development path, firmly support each other in safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs under any pretext, and jointly safeguard the core security interests and strategic interests of the six countries. The Belt and Road cooperation is of great strategic significance to promoting economic development, people's well-being, good-neighborliness and mutual trust in the region. All parties will earnestly implement the important consensus and outcomes of the summit, strengthen regular high-level exchanges, comprehensively advance the Belt and Road cooperation, and deepen regional connectivity and practical cooperation in economy, trade, energy, high technology, security and other areas. All parties will actively implement the Global Development Initiative, enhance communication and coordination in regional and international affairs, push for a new development of relations between Central Asian countries and China, better respond to common challenges and make new contributions to regional peace and security.

The five heads of state all expressed their eager expectations to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in China next week. They believe that China will overcome the difficulties of the pandemic and smoothly and successfully host the Beijing Olympic Winter Games as scheduled, which will surely bring more confidence and hope to the world. They wish the Beijing Olympic Winter Games a success, and the Chinese people a happy Spring Festival.

The summit adopted and released the Joint Statement Between Leaders of China and the Five Central Asian Countries on the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Ties.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others attended the summit.

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