WASHINGTON (PRWEB) May 19, 2023
CGTN America & CGTN UN releases “China, Central Asia Vow to Build a Closer Community with a Shared Future at Milestone Xi'an Summit”
It is no coincidence that Xi'an has been chosen to host the first in-person gathering among heads of state of China and five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, since their diplomatic ties were established 31 years ago.
Over 2,100 years ago, Zhang Qian, a Han Dynasty envoy, made his journey to the West from Chang'an, now the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, opening the door to friendship and exchanges between China and Central Asia.
Delivering a keynote speech at the China-Central Asia Summit held at the starting point of the ancient Silk Road on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping recalled the millennia-old friendship and hailed the relations as brimming with vigor and vitality in the new era.
In expounding on how to build a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, President Xi stressed the need for mutual support, common development, and upholding universal security and everlasting friendship.
Central Asia is where the Belt and Road Initiative began, as in a speech delivered at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University in September 2013, Xi Jinping, for the first time, proposed building the Silk Road Economic Belt. A month later, in Indonesia, he proposed the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
"Over the past decade, China and Central Asian countries have worked closely together to fully revive the Silk Road and actively deepen future-oriented cooperation, steering our relations into a new era," Xi said in his speech.
In addition to traditional areas of cooperation, China and Central Asia should also forge new drivers of growth in finance, agriculture, poverty reduction, green and low-carbon development, medical service, health and digital innovation, said President Xi.
China's trade with the five countries reached $70 billion in 2022, up by over 100 times since diplomatic ties were established. As of the end of March, China's direct investment stock in Central Asia stood at over $15 billion, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
At Friday's summit, President Xi also reiterated that the sovereignty, security, independence and territorial integrity of Central Asian countries must be upheld, their people's choice of development paths respected, and their efforts for peace, harmony and tranquility supported.
"It is important that we act on the Global Security Initiative, and stand firm against external attempts to interfere in domestic affairs of regional countries or instigate color revolutions," he emphasized.
China and Central Asia, according to the Chinese leader, should continue to have zero-tolerance to the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and strive to resolve security conundrums in the region.
(This material is distributed by MediaLinks TV, LLC on behalf of CCTV. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)