CGTN: China, Kazakhstan cherish friendly ties, vow further cooperation

BEIJING, July 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — China and Kazakhstan have always supported each other and have always been partners in times of challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a signed article in the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper and Kazinform International News Agency on Tuesday.

Xi is on his fifth visit to Kazakhstan, where he was not only welcomed by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the airport but also treated to a blue carpet – the color of the Kazakh national flag hailed by Kazakhs as symbolizing the friendship between China and Kazakhstan – and a group of Kazakh students singing the Chinese song “Ode to the Motherland.”

The visit is also Xi’s second visit in less than two years, following his previous state visit in September 2022. In addition, Xi and Tokayev met in Beijing in October 2023.

The friendly relations between China and Kazakhstan are rooted in the millennia-old ancient Silk Road, reinforced by 32 years of cooperation after the establishment of diplomatic relations, and have reached the high level of a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said during his meeting with Tokayev on Wednesday.

Since China and Kazakhstan established diplomatic ties in 1992, the two countries have steadily strengthened their relationship, first to a strategic partnership in 2005, then a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2011 and a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership in 2019.

The deepening mutual trust and political ties between China and Kazakhstan have been accompanied by remarkable growth in their trade and economic cooperation over the past three decades.

China was Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner in 2023, with two-way trade up by 32 percent year-on-year to reach $41 billion. Key exports from Kazakhstan to China include crude oil, metals and agricultural products. China, in turn, has supplied Kazakhstan with machinery, electronics and consumer goods, according to Kazakh government data.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to China Shakhrat Nuryshev singled out the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the increasingly expanding bilateral trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in an interview with People’s Daily.

From the ChinaKazakhstan (Lianyungang) Logistics Cooperation Base, the first project inaugurated under the BRI in 2014, to the Western China-Western Europe Highway, both countries have been pushing for closer connectivity by developing road and railway transport. Besides, recently completed and commissioned ventures such as the Zhanatas wind farm and the Turgusun hydropower station underscored both countries’ determination to develop low-carbon economies through renewable energy programs.

China and Kazakhstan will continuously deepen cooperation in traditional areas like trade, investment, interconnectivity and energy, Xi said during a joint meeting with the press with Tokayev on Wednesday.

Noting that China and Kazakhstan have set a new goal of doubling two-way trade at an early date, Xi added that both sides will also jointly foster new growth points for cooperation in critical minerals, scientific and technological innovation, aerospace, digital economy and other fields.

In the past years, China and Kazakhstan have also deepened cultural and people-to-people exchanges. For example, bilateral programs for cultural cooperation, including a Luban Workshop and a center of traditional Chinese medicine, have been implemented. In March, Kazakhstan Tourism Year was officially launched in China.

On Wednesday, Xi and Tokayev unveiled the Beijing Language and Culture University branch at the Astana International University.

To further enhance people-to-people exchanges, Xi told reporters that China has decided to open the second Luban Workshop in the Central Asian country and will hold China Tourism Year in Kazakhstan in 2025.

Besides enhancing bilateral ties, Xi also said China supports Kazakhstan in joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism, playing the role of a “middle power” on the international stage and making its due contribution to global governance.

Xi added that China and Kazakhstan have pledged to continue working closely in international affairs and strengthen coordination and cooperation within the framework of the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the China-Central Asia mechanism as well as other multilateral frameworks.

Xi said he believes Thursday’s Astana summit will be a complete success and bring the SCO to a new level of development.

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