China-Central Asia Summit to draw new blueprint for China-Central Asia relations
By He Yin, People’s Daily
The China-Central Asia Summit will be held on May 18 and 19 in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province. It will be chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping and attended by heads of state of five Central Asian countries.
It will be the first major diplomatic event that China hosts this year and the first in-person summit among the heads of state of the six countries over the 31 years since China established diplomatic relations with these countries. It is of milestone significance in the history of the relations between China and Central Asian countries.
This Summit will help draw a new blueprint for China-Central Asia relations and open up a new era for cooperation between the two sides. It will inject new impetus into building a closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future and contribute positive energy to regional and world peace, stability, development and prosperity.
“No matter how the international landscape may evolve or how developed China may grow, China will always remain a good neighbor, a good partner, a good friend, and a good brother that Central Asian countries can trust and count on,” said Xi when chairing the Virtual Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between China and Central Asian Countries in January last year.
Over the past 10 years, under the strategic guidance of head-of-state diplomacy, cooperation between China and Central Asia has achieved a series of historic and groundbreaking outcomes.
Last year, the heads of state of the six countries jointly announced the building of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, and the China-Central Asia cooperation mechanism came into being.
Today, China has established comprehensive strategic partnerships and signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with all the five Central Asian countries. Bilateral strategic mutual trust has reached a new level; mutually beneficial cooperation has gained new impetus; friendly exchanges have entered a new stage; and China-Central Asia relations and regional development have shown unprecedented vitality.
The key to the successful cooperation between China and the five Central Asian countries lies in their abiding commitment to mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times, and mutual benefit. These four principles are a political guarantee for the steady and sustained growth of China’s relations with Central Asian countries and a source of inspiration for China and Central Asian countries to further advance friendly exchanges.
China and the five countries firmly support each other in following development paths that suit their own national conditions, firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, actively work for the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, work together to combat the “three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism”, drug trafficking and transborder organized crime, and resolutely oppose external interference or attempts to instigate color revolutions.
China and the five countries share the same or similar positions on major international and regional issues, and will keep close collaboration within multilateral institutions and frameworks such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, practice true multilateralism, and make contribution to promoting the reform of the global governance system and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Central Asian countries have actively responded to and firmly supported the major initiatives proposed by China, such as the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative. Facing the complicated and volatile international landscape, China and the five Central Asian countries will always magnify the exemplary role of good-neighborly friendship, build a cooperation belt for high-quality development, strengthen the shield for defending peace, build a family with diverse interactions, and protect the global village that enjoys peace and development.
Central Asia is where the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was firstly proposed, as well as one of the regions that have reaped the early fruits of the initiative.
Over the past 10 years since the BRI was proposed, China and the five Central Asian countries have actively synergized their development strategies and achieved fruitful results in the high-quality construction of the BRI.
A series of major projects have been completed, including the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline, the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, and the China-Tajikistan highway. The China-Europe Railway Express which runs through Central Asia has seen rapid growth.
China and Central Asia have jointly built an all-round and multi-dimensional connectivity network that covers roads, railways, air routes and oil and gas pipelines, which not only contributes to the upgrading of industries, connectivity and livelihood in Central Asian countries, but also lays a solid foundation for safeguarding industrial and supply chains in Eurasia.
The China-CentralAsia cooperation mechanism, characterized by openness and transparency, mutual benefit, equality, reciprocity and real results, is a new format of cooperation between China and Central Asian countries.
China believes that efforts shall be focused on promoting cooperation in priority areas such as transportation, economy, trade, investment, industry, agriculture, energy, customs, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to build an all-round, multi-tiered and multi-dimensional sub-regional cooperation pattern.
This conforms to the demands of Central Asian countries and the trend of regional integration, and has been widely responded by relevant parties.
The foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries said the Central Asia-China cooperation has played an important role in consolidating strategic mutual trust, accelerating their respective development, promoting connectivity and safeguarding common security, and has set an example of mutually beneficial cooperation among countries. They believe the China-Central Asia Summit will open a new chapter of Central Asia-China relations and provide new opportunities for Central Asian countries’ transformation and promote the region’s influence.
As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “With one heart and one mind, we can accomplish everything we aspire for.” To promote the well-being of the people of the six countries, the China-Central Asia Summit will surely make new contributions to a brighter future for the relations between China and Central Asian countries and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
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