China, Uzbekistan agree to develop, deepen all-round cooperation after meeting of two heads of state
Published: Sep 16, 2022 12:59 AM
China, Uzbekistan Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China and Uzbekistan agreed to develop and deepen all-round cooperation in areas including interconnected transport infrastructure, free economic zones and the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the joint statement from the two countries on Thursday.

The statement came after a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Thursday morning in Samarkand.

In the joint statement, the two sides said that since China and Uzbekistan established diplomatic relations 30 years ago, the people of the two countries have marched forward hand in hand as brothers, writing a glorious chapter in the history of bilateral friendship for generations.

The two sides agreed that since China and Uzbekistan established the strategic partnership 10 years ago, the two countries have maintained candid, open and constructive high-level communication, and have built efficient collaboration mechanisms in such areas as politics, diplomacy, economy and trade, as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Xi emphasized at their meeting that China and Uzbekistan should firmly support each other on issues concerning national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and other core interests, move faster to synergize their development strategies and promote common development.

On Thursday, Xi received the Order of Friendship conferred by Mirziyoyev. The Order of Friendship is the highest honor conferred by Uzbekistan on foreign individuals in recognition of their special contribution to growing friendly relations with Uzbekistan, resolving international and regional hotspot issues or supporting the national development of Uzbekistan. This is the first time of awarding the Order.

President Mirziyoyev said the historic state visit of Xi to the country coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Uzbekistan diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Uzbekistan-China strategic partnership, which will elevate the Uzbekistan-China comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height featuring new vitality and new prospect.

Mirziyoyev said Uzbekistan is firmly and unequivocally committed to the one-China principle, firmly supports China's position on matters concerning its core interests including those related to Taiwan and Xinjiang, and will always be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner worthy of China's trust.

One notable result from the state visit was the signing of a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding concerning cooperation on the Kyrgyz section of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project.

The joint statement agreed to speed up the railway construction in a bid to deepen interconnected transport infrastructure and effective transportation channels between China and Uzbekistan.

Another of the highlights within the joint statement was that the two sides agreed to actively push forward the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategy of "New Uzbekistan" for 2022-2026.

Uzbekistan also said it supports the Global Development Initiative (GDI) put forward by China and believes that the initiative will actively contribute to the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as planned.

On bilateral trade, Uzbekistan agreed to increase exports of textiles, shoes, chemicals, agriproducts and nonferrous metals to China, while China promised to speed up the approval of animal and plant quarantine permits for specific categories of products. Uzbekistan also said the country is willing to participate in the China International Import Expo which is to be held in November this year.

Meanwhile, China is willing to support Uzbekistan's accession to the WTO. For the country to develop social and infrastructure construction projects, China is willing to consider offering concessional loans to Uzbekistan, according to the joint statement.

Both agreed that the priority for safeguarding regional security and stability will remain the fight against the "three forces," - terrorism, separatism and extremism - as well as drug trafficking, smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives and cross-border organized crime.

In the joint statement, China and Uzbekistan also reaffirmed that a peaceful, stable, developing and prosperous Afghanistan serves the common interests of Afghanistan and other regional countries.

Underlining their respect for the independence, sovereignty, territory integrity and ethnic unity of Afghanistan, the two sides stressed non-interference of the country's domestic affairs and noted that they will uphold the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" principle.

They also agreed to enhance coordination on Afghanistan-related issues within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the coordination and cooperation mechanism among neighbors of Afghanistan and other frameworks, with the aim of advancing peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan.