China, Kazakhstan vow to contribute to building China-Central Asia community with a shared future: Chinese ambassador
Published: May 15, 2023 04:53 PM
Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao

Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao

China and Kazakhstan share the same position or common language on major international and regional issues and would make contributions to the construction of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, said Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao on Monday.

China and Kazakhstan have promoted pragmatic cooperation, which has achieved new developments. In 2022, the volume of bilateral trade exceeded $31 billion for the first time, a year-on-year increase of 23.6 percent, said Zhang in an exclusive interview with China Media Group (CMG).

Efforts were also made to push forward the signing of the mutual visa exemption agreement to facilitate personnel and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Kazakhstan, which is  an active advocate, participant and contributor to the China-Central Asia Summit, has maintained close communication and coordination with all parties on the establishment and improvement of the mechanism, and has given strong support and active cooperation to China in organizing the first summit, said the ambassador.

The China-Central Asia Summit will be held in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province from May 18 to 19, the first major diplomatic event hosted by China in 2023, with Chinese President Xi Jinping presiding over the event. It is also the first substantive meeting between the top leaders of the six countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations 31 years ago.

The current geopolitical situation in the world is tense, with countries facing the Ukrainian crisis, international finance, energy, food and other multiple challenges, and a number of countries openly clamoring for confrontation and decoupling. The China-Central Asia Summit sends a clear signal to the world that China and Central Asian countries will work together to tide over the difficulties, said the ambassador.

As an important regional cooperation mechanism, the China-Central Asia Summit aims to strengthen strategic communication and policy coordination among countries, deepen cooperation in various fields, and jointly build an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

Leaders of the five Central Asian countries will be invited to attend the summit, and during the visit, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will also pay a state visit to China.

Zhang said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 30 years ago, bilateral relations have achieved rapid development and reached the highest level of permanent comprehensive strategic partnership in history.

It is hoped that citizens of the two countries can travel more easily, and that practical cooperation will be closer, cultural exchanges more frequent and port congestion further eased. More benefits will be given to our two peoples, Zhang said.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Kazakhstan, as the place where the initiative was initiated, has carried out pragmatic and positive cooperation with China in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, with agricultural cooperation a centerpiece.

In 2022, the trade volume of agricultural products between China and Kazakhstan reached $31 billion for the first time, a year-on-year increase of 23.6 percent. Bilateral cooperation in agricultural science and technology has been deepened, a number of joint laboratories and research projects have been carried out in an orderly manner, and a number of agricultural investment projects have developed rapidly.

China is willing to work with Kazakhstan to jointly implement global development initiatives, global security initiatives and global civilization initiatives, firmly support Central Asian countries in independently choosing development paths based on their own national conditions, resolutely oppose external forces interfering in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries, and jointly promote mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation in various fields, Zhang said.

Global Times