Xi’s remarks set course for deeper China-Central Asia relations
BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Over the past few years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has on various occasions called for closer cooperation between China and Central Asia, especially to boost economy and trade, maintain regional peace and security, and promote democracy in international relations.
The following are some highlights of his remarks.
Speaking at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan on Sept. 7, 2013, Xi proposed jointly building an "economic belt along the Silk Road."
"We need to promote unimpeded trade ... The potential for trade and investment cooperation between the relevant countries is enormous. We should discuss a proper arrangement for trade and investment facilitation, remove trade barriers, reduce trade and investment cost, increase the speed and quality of regional economic flows and achieve win-win progress in the region," Xi said.
During the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Tajikistan in June, 2019, Xi noted that building a prosperous Asia is a shared aspiration of Asian countries, and development is the key to all problems.
CICA members should work together to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, implement the consensus reached at the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, strengthen the synergy of their development strategies, boost comprehensive connectivity and promote high-quality economic development in all countries, he said.
REGIONAL PEACE & HARMONY
"At present, China’s relations with Central Asian countries face a golden opportunity of development," Xi said in 2013 in Kazakhstan, adding, "We need to pass on our friendship from generation to generation and always be good neighbors living in harmony."
"We will deepen trust and cooperation with Central Asian countries bilaterally and within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to combat the ‘three forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as drug trafficking and transnational organized crime to create a favorable environment for the economic development and the well-being of the people in this region," he said.
Addressing the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO on Sept. 17, 2021, Xi stressed that "faced with complex and fluid security dynamics in the region, we need to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and take tough actions against terrorism, separatism and extremism, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement."
DEMOCRACY IN INT’L RELATIONS
"The over 2,000-year history of exchanges demonstrates that on the basis of solidarity, mutual trust, equality, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win cooperation, countries of different races, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are fully capable of sharing peace and development. This is the valuable inspiration we have drawn from the ancient Silk Road," Xi said back in 2013.
At the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO on June 10, 2018, Xi said: "While hegemony and power politics still persist in this world, the growing call for a more just and equitable international order must be heeded. Democracy in international relations has become an unstoppable trend of the times."
A year later in Tajikistan, Xi said building an Asia featuring mutual respect and mutual trust is CICA members’ shared expectation, calling on them to adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect each other’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, as well as their respective choice of political systems and development paths.
"We should stay true to the Shanghai Spirit, keep to the right direction, follow the historical trends of promoting democracy in international relations, and pursue our own development as we pursue common development for humanity," he said last year at the SCO gathering.