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'Historic' visit boosts ties with Uzbekistan Release date: 2022-09-16

Fresh plans and projects for connectivity, energy and green development were among the major highlights of the official talks between President Xi Jinping and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand, a historical city of Uzbekistan, on Thursday.

Xi arrived in the Central Asian country on Wednesday night for a state visit. He will also attend the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand.

Following the two leaders' talks, representatives of related departments signed documents on cooperation in fields such as agriculture, digital economy, green development, culture, local governments and media.

Also during the visit, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on constructing the Kyrgyzstan section of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.

Xi told Mirziyoyev that China is ready to work with Uzbekistan to improve Eurasian transportation routes and push for the early start of the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.

Speaking on boosting bilateral energy cooperation, Xi said the two countries should ensure the safe operation of China-Central Asia natural gas pipelines, expand collaboration in areas such as new energy, and build a new, multidimensional landscape for energy cooperation.

Mirziyoyev said that Uzbekistan looks to further learn from China's successful experience in poverty alleviation and to further participate in joint building of the Belt and Road.

Uzbekistan is ready to press ahead with the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway, he added.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of establishing their strategic partnership.

Mirziyoyev said that the Chinese president's "historic" visit will surely chart the direction for future cooperation and bring the two nations' bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level.

At the talks, Xi said that over the past 30 years, the two countries have always adhered to mutual respect, neighborly friendship, weathering storms together and a win-win approach.

As a good friend, partner and brother, China staunchly supports Uzbekistan in following a development path suited to its own national conditions, supports Uzbekistan's efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, security and social stability, and opposes any forces interfering in Uzbekistan's domestic affairs, Xi said.

Mirziyoyev said he wishes success to the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

He expressed his appreciation for China's precious support for Uzbekistan's national development and the fight against COVID-19, saying that China is a reliable friend.

Uzbekistan unswervingly and unequivocally supports the one-China principle as well as China's positions on issues related to its core interests, such as those regarding Taiwan and Xinjiang, he said.

After their talks, the two leaders signed a joint statement on behalf of the two countries.

They pledged that the two nations will expand mutually beneficial cooperation, build on their friendly partnership and put into action a community with a shared future in a bilateral context.

Vision set out

Speaking on overall bilateral cooperation, Xi urged that the two nations accelerate the synergy of their development strategies, push for common development and step up bilateral cooperation for greater outcomes.

The two countries are expected to strengthen cooperation on the economy, trade and investment and reinforce investment in and collaboration on the digital economy and green development, Xi said.

Uzbekistan is welcome to further participate in the China International Import Expo and enjoy more opportunities brought by China's vast market, he said.

The two countries should strengthen cooperation in poverty alleviation, and learn from and help each other in terms of economic development and improving people's livelihoods, he added.

In the cultural field, Xi said China supports and is willing to participate in work related to the proposal by Uzbekistan for a year of culture and art between the peoples of Central Asian countries and China.

He welcomes Uzbekistan's young people to study in China and learn the Chinese language, and he called for accelerating the establishment of cultural centers in either country and the establishment of a Luban Workshop in the country — under a program that aims to further exchanges and cooperation on vocational education between China and other countries and regions.

Mirziyoyev said his country is ready to strengthen cooperation in various areas, including the economy, trade, investment, oil and natural gas, new energy, agricultural infrastructure and culture.

Uzbekistan fully supports the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by China, he added.

By Zhang Yunbi, Xu Wei, and Ren Qi