Xi eyes common growth in visits to Central Asia
Neighborly friendship, connectivity and common development stand out as key phrases used in both of President Xi Jinping's signed articles published by leading media outlets in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday.
The two articles were published prior to Xi's Central Asia tour from Wednesday to Friday.
Xi will attend the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and make state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and both Central Asian nations.
In his article for Kazakh media, Xi recalled the past 30 years by pointing to the major strides made in bilateral ties, remarkable results in pragmatic cooperation, extensive infrastructure links built between the two countries, and their flourishing friendship.
"We are friends to trust and partners to count on for each other, and our peoples always stand shoulder to shoulder with each other," Xi wrote.
He envisioned the two nations' further teamwork in bilateral and international contexts to boost growth, common security and global governance.
China would like to partner with Kazakhstan to remain pioneers in Belt and Road cooperation and cultivate new sources of growth such as artificial intelligence, big data, digital finance, e-commerce and green energy, he wrote.
In his article for Uzbek media, Xi said the two nations are "good friends sharing close affinity", "good partners pursuing common development", a "good example of dialogue between civilizations" and "good brothers supporting each other in times of need".
Bilateral trade exceeded $8 billion last year and "is on course to reach the $10 billion goal set for 2022", Xi wrote.
"The two countries have rendered mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests, supported each other's implementation of development strategies, drawn upon each other's experience of reform and opening-up, and injected positive energy into regional development," he wrote.
The Central Asia trip is "China's most important head-of-state diplomatic event ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday.
Mao noted that both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are friendly neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners of China, and they are key countries on the routes of the Belt and Road.
The state visits will introduce new blueprints, goals and impetus for China's bilateral ties with the two countries, showing that China's bilateral ties with the two countries are entering a new phase of development, she added.
In both of his articles, Xi highlighted the fact that next year marks the 10th anniversary of his putting forward the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative — a key component of the landmark Belt and Road Initiative — in Kazakhstan in 2013.
The BRI "has become a platform for international cooperation that is open, inclusive and mutually beneficial, promotes win-win cooperation and is a global public good widely welcomed by the international community", he noted.
He called for joint efforts to further put into action the Global Development Initiative — which he proposed last year and which has gained support from over 100 countries — so as to give impetus to world economic recovery.
In his article published in Uzbekistan, Xi also spoke highly of Uzbekistan's role as chairman of the SCO Samarkand Summit this year.
He expressed his confidence that, with the joint efforts of all sides, the Samarkand Summit will produce "fruitful outcomes" and make a greater contribution to building an even closer SCO community with a shared future and to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
At the SCO summit, Xi will exchange views with other attending leaders on "all-around cooperation within the SCO framework as well as major international and regional issues", according to Mao, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
The SCO's role has been highlighted in securing regional security stability and promoting countries' development and prosperity amid profound changes in the global situation and the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
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