China-Central Asia Summit a positive demonstration for world: Global Times editorial
Published: May 18, 2023 12:08 AM
China + Central Asia (C+C5)  Photo: VCG

China + Central Asia (C+C5) Photo: VCG

Xi'an, China, receives presidents from five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as the China-Central Asia Summit is held from Thursday to Friday. President Xi Jinping will host the summit.

This is China's first major diplomatic event that China hosts this year and is the first ever in-person summit between the leaders of China and five Central Asian countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations 31 years ago. The heads of state will not only exchange views on bilateral, multilateral, and major international and regional issues, but also sign an important political document. It can be fully expected that this summit will further deepen the political mutual trust between China and the five Central Asian countries, and promote bilateral cooperation in various fields to a new level. Not only is it a milestone in the history of the development of relations between China and Central Asian countries. It will contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region. For the world, the lively scene in Xi'an also has a very positive demonstration effect.

It should be said that China and Central Asian countries have no special "innate advantages" in developing good-neighborly and friendly relations. The two sides have differences in social systems, religious cultures, etc and once faced practical constraints and challenges in their economic and security cooperation. But the two sides have successfully transcended these differences. After all, it is the strong value resonance of a shared destiny that has allowed the two sides to embark on a new path of mutual respect, good neighborliness, friendship, mutual assistance, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, and set a model for a new type of international relations. In particular, in the turbulent and complex world situation, Central Asian countries have become more aware of the need to support each other in order to resist security risks and realize the modernization and development of their respective countries. This is highly consistent with China-proposed Global Development Initiatives, Global Security Initiatives and Global Civilization Initiative. In this sense, the holding of the China-Central Asia Summit itself is a matter of course.

The practice since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the five Central Asian countries 31 years ago has also proved that as long as we follow the right path, we will surely reap rich fruits. Central Asia was the place where the Belt and Road Initiative was launched. Now the busy China-Europe freight trains have become a landscape there. China has also been the largest or main trading partner of Central Asian countries for many years, and its trade volume has continuously hit record highs. At the same time, the cooperation between the two sides in security and other fields has also been further deepened. For example, in the process of combating extremist terrorist activities, China has carried out close cooperation with law-enforcement agencies and judiciary institutions in Central Asia. The epidemic prevention and health departments of both sides have established a cooperation platform for information sharing and joint epidemic prevention. The benefits brought by the cooperation between the two sides to these countries and people are tangible.

In recent years, the cooperation between China and Central Asian countries has been very stable, almost unaffected by geopolitical factors. The fundamental reason is that there is no geopolitical element in their cooperation. However, some people in the US and West, constrained by their narrow-minded logic, only want to view the China-Central Asia cooperation from a geopolitical perspective, and their conclusions are naturally absurd. The more they smear China accusing it of "controlling Central Asia" and "establishing a sphere of influence there," the more they demonstrate their own dark psychology of using the five Central Asian countries as geopolitical tools. This is a kind of imperialistic arrogance and extreme short-sightedness that cannot be concealed. They only have confrontation in their eyes and minds, and their destruction to the world has become increasingly prominent, which has also aroused unprecedented vigilance from the international community. 

In fact, the geopolitical manipulators in the West have long eyed Central Asia and considered it as a chess piece to use against China and Russia, in their own words, to expand its influence in the region at the cost of China and Russia. This kind of thinking is the biggest disrespect to the Central Asian countries, as if they are only bargaining chips to be manipulated that have no autonomy, independent ability and right. They cannot understand, or believe, the true mutual respect and equal treatment between China and Central Asian countries. However, Central Asian countries have a deep understanding of this. They have felt respect, sincerity, and goodwill in their interactions with China, and the political mutual trust between the two sides has continued to improve, making it difficult for outsiders to sow discord.

The China-Central Asia Summit is being held with confidence and openness, because we do not engage in geopolitical games or zero-sum games. Cooperation between the two sides is a valuable asset for each other and the world. No matter how the international situation changes, and how much China develops in the future, China will always be a trustworthy and reliable neighbor, partner, friend, and brother to Central Asian countries. Reality has shown that the more such friendships exist, the more peace, security, cooperation, and development there will be.