Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, held talks in Beijing on Wednesday, announcing to elevate bilateral ties to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era, and promote the construction of a China-Uzbekistan community with a shared future from a higher starting point.
President Mirziyoyev is in China for a state visit.
Xi noted that 32 years ago, Uzbekistan was the first Central Asian country to establish diplomatic ties with China. The two peoples have carried forward the spirit of the Silk Road, and the China-Uzbekistan friendship is deeply rooted and vibrant, he said.
“In particular, over the past seven years and more, we have worked together to lead bilateral cooperation in various fields to a sound, thriving situation,” Xi said, stressing that building a more meaningful and dynamic China-Uzbekistan relationship is the shared aspiration of the two peoples.
Emphasising that the two sides have always treated each other with sincerity and mutual trust, Xi said the two countries should support each other even more steadfastly in the face of the current complex international situation.
China firmly supports Uzbekistan in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and in choosing its own development path, Xi said, calling for a better role of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee and other platforms in strengthening strategic communication and comprehensively deepening strategic mutual trust.
By synergising China’s eight major steps to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, the two countries should tap the potential of traditional cooperation, introduce more trade and investment facilitation measures, expand cooperation on infrastructure and the construction of agricultural high-tech parks, and implement the medium and long-term cooperation plans for the economy, trade and investment, Xi said.
China is willing to import more quality products from Uzbekistan, he added.
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The two sides should begin construction on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project at an early date, and advance hard connectivity and soft connectivity simultaneously, to help Uzbekistan transform from a landlocked country into a land-linked country, Xi said.
China is willing to expand cooperation with Uzbekistan across the entire new energy vehicle industrial chain and cooperate on major projects, including photovoltaic power, wind power and hydropower projects, to support Uzbekistan’s green economic development strategy and promote sustainable development, Xi said.
The two sides also need to cooperate on poverty reduction, expand and deepen local cooperation, build more projects to benefit their peoples, and deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Xi said, adding that China will provide more government scholarships for Uzbekistan’s young people to study in China.
Xi also stressed bilateral coordination and cooperation on maintaining the correct direction of the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), implementing the outcomes of the China-Central Asia Summit, strengthening the China-Central Asia mechanism, promoting global and regional governance, and advancing the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity.
Stressing the symbolic significance of choosing China as the first country he has visited this year, Mirziyoyev said he attributes China’s development achievements to the leadership of President Xi, and that he believes China will make greater achievements on its journey to realising the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.
Uzbekistan is willing to learn from China’s successful development experience, and his visit will serve as an opportunity for consolidating and deepening mutual trust with China, expanding comprehensive cooperation, promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and achieving more cooperation results in fields such as trade and economy, agriculture, clean energy, and tourism, he said.
Uzbekistan abides firmly by the one-China principle, strictly opposes external interference in China’s internal affairs, and stands ready to provide firm support for China on issues concerning China’s core interests, including Taiwan, Xinjiang and human rights, said Mirziyoyev.
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He noted that Uzbekistan is ready to work with China to combat the “three forces,” namely separatism, extremism and terrorism, to safeguard the security and stability of both countries and the region at large.
He noted that the two countries have held a sub-national cooperation forum, a poverty reduction forum and various other activities, many of which were held for the first time in Uzbekistan, which fully demonstrates the close friendship between the two peoples, as well as the fruitful results and huge potential of bilateral relations.
He said that Uzbekistan firmly supports a series of global cooperation initiatives proposed by President Xi, is willing to work closely with China to establish the secretariat of the China-Central Asia Mechanism, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation within the SCO and other multilateral frameworks.
Following their talks, the two heads of state signed and issued a joint statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Uzbekistan on the all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era.
They also witnessed the signing of a series of documents concerning the Belt and Road cooperation, economic and technological cooperation, connectivity, environmental protection, new energy, science and culture.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming ceremony for Mirziyoyev and his wife Ziroatkhon Mirziyoyeva in the Great Hall of the People prior to the talks, and a welcoming banquet for them on Wednesday evening.
Wang Yi was present at these events.