China stands ready to work with Central Asian nations to build community with shared future, says Xi
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Presided over President Xi, the virtual China-Central Asia summit took place on January 25.
Xinhua reports that as China's first major diplomatic activity involving Central Asia this year, the summit was attended by leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Hailing the development of China-Central Asia relations over the past three decades as "a good example of fostering a new type of international relations," Xi reportedly pointed out that the keys to the successful cooperation are mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times and mutual benefit.
"China stands ready to work with Central Asian countries to build on the good momentum and strive shoulder-by-shoulder to build an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future," Xi said in his speech, also making some proposals to realize the objective.
He announced that China will continue to provide vaccines and anti-epidemic supplies to Central Asian countries, and will step up joint production and technology transfer with respect to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.
In 2022, China will provide an additional 50 million doses of vaccines as aid to Central Asian countries, and set up traditional medicine centers in countries where they are needed, Xi added.
In his speech, Xi suggested that the two sides should speed up high-quality cooperation, and strengthen cooperation on artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and other high-tech sectors.
The Central Asian leaders reportedly said they will work with China "together for a shared future," echoing the motto for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and said they eagerly look forward to attending the opening ceremony of the sporting event next week.
The leaders of the five Central Asian countries spoke highly of the fruitful results of cooperation with China, praising the development of relations between Central Asian countries and China that has not only promoted their respective development and prosperity, but also effectively safeguarded regional peace and stability, according to Xinhua.
Both sides said they viewed the summit as a significant milestone.
Citing the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Xinhua says trade between China and Central Asian nations has grown by more than 100 times in the past 30 years, and the stocks of China's direct investment in the five countries exceeded 14 billion U.S. dollars.
According to a joint statement released after the summit, China and the Central Asian countries agreed to strengthen the docking of the Belt and Road Initiative with the five nations' own development strategies.