Tajikistan visit by premier to boost unity: observers

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/11 23:03:40

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Tajikistan for the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states will unite member countries against unilateralism and trade protectionism, Chinese observers said on Thursday.

Li arrived in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, to begin his first official visit to the Central Asian country as Chinese premier on Thursday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"China will unite with other organization members to fight unilateralism and trade protectionism during Li's visit, and promote free trade and regional economic cooperation," said Li Xin, the director of the Center for Russian and Central Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

The organization is "a cooperation platform for eight countries across Europe and Asia in which China will continue to contribute its own solution to the globalization through the Belt and Road initiative," Li Xin told the Global Times on Thursday.

The voices of member states, such as India and Russia, also victims of unilateralism, will carry big weight on the international arena, said Zhang Hong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"The members speaking in one voice will be part of negotiations between China and the US on trade," Zhang said.

The Chinese premier's visit to Tajikistan, a comprehensive strategic partner of China, will inject impetus into bilateral ties, Zhang said, noting that bilateral cooperation has reached a relatively high level, especially in energy and infrastructure.

China has become the largest source of investment in Tajikistan, with a cumulative investment of more than $2 billion, Yue Bin, Chinese Ambassador to Tajikistan, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying on Tuesday.

A joint communiqué will be signed and issued at the meeting, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

The meeting was of great significance for implementing the outcomes of the June summit in Qingdao, Shandong Province, it said.

Li will attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, where he "will give an important speech, putting forward the initiative of China in support of Asia-Europe practical cooperation." said the ministry.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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