President Xi Jinping called for building an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future in order to promote the countries’ high-quality development, the region’s prosperity and stability, as well as global peace and development.
Xi made the remarks while chairing a virtual summit in Beijing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and five Central Asian countries.
The heads of state of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the meeting. While hailing their countries’ ties with China, the leaders said they eagerly look forward to attending the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which will open on Feb 4, and they wished the Games great success.
Reviewing the development of ties between China and the five Central Asian countries over the past 30 years, Xi said the key to successful cooperation between China and the five countries is “mutual respect, good neighborliness and friendship, solidarity, and mutual benefit”.
He stressed that no matter how the international landscape may evolve or how developed China may become, the nation 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 continue to firmly support the Central Asian countries in following development paths tailored to their national realities, firmly support them in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in pursuing national revitalization and greater strength through unity, and in playing a bigger role on the world stage, he added.
He underlined the need for China and the Central Asian countries to enhance their good-neighborly friendship, build a cooperation belt for high-quality development, strengthen the protective shield that safeguards peace and forge stronger people-to-people bonds.
China firmly opposes attempts by external forces to foment “color revolutions” in Central Asia, firmly opposes interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, and firmly opposes any force that tries to disrupt the tranquil life of the people of the six countries, Xi said.
He pledged to increase trade between China and the Central Asian countries to $70 billion by 2030.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging globally, Xi said, China will continue to provide vaccines and anti-epidemic supplies to Central Asian countries, and step up joint production and technology transfer with respect to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.
He announced that in 2022, China will provide an additional 50 million doses of vaccines to Central Asian countries and set up traditional medicine centers in countries with such a need. China is also calling for the establishment of a China-Central Asia health industry alliance, he added. Xi also announced China will provide grant assistance of $500 million to Central Asian countries in support of livelihood programs, and offer 5,000 places at seminars and workshops to help Central Asian countries train professionals in fields including health, poverty reduction for agricultural development and information technology.
The leaders of the five Central Asian countries spoke highly of the achievements from the development of ties with China over the past 30 years, and said their countries are ready to take the anniversary as a new starting point to build strategic partnership with China that features more profound meaning, fruitful results and long-lasting friendship.
They vowed to jointly safeguard the countries’ core security interests and strategic interests, comprehensively advance Belt and Road cooperation, intensify pragmatic cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, high-tech and security, actively participate in the China-proposed Global Development Initiative and develop close communication and coordination in regional and international affairs.
The summit adopted a joint statement of the leaders of China and the Central Asian countries on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.