Xi to Central Asia leaders: Let's unleash full relations potential
China's leader considers the summit with the leaders of Central Asian countries a "significant milestone".
Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed on Friday that China and Central Asia must fully capitalize on their mutual trade and economic potential, and deepen strategic ties on the basis of common interests and trust.
The neighboring nations should "fully unleash the potential of traditional cooperation in economy, trade, industrial capacity, energy and transport," Xi told the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, during a Beijing-hosted summit.
This gathering, held in the ancient Chinese city of Xi'an, the historic eastern terminus of the Silk Road that linked China to Europe via Central Asia, has been called of "milestone significance" by Beijing.
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The Chinese leader added that it is vital to develop "new growth drivers... such as finance, agriculture, poverty reduction, low carbon, health, and digital innovation".
"China and Central Asian countries should deepen strategic mutual trust, and always offer clear and strong support for each other on issues of core interests," he said.
At the summit opening on Thursday, Xi praised a "new era" of ties with Central Asia
Mutual Chinese-Central Asian trade has jumped 22 percent in 2023 from $70 billion in 2022, a significant rise as China's neighboring countries are considered a pillar to the Belt and Road Initiative BRI.
China must "take the lead" in that project [BRI] and "deepen strategic mutual trust" in aims to "uphold everlasting friendship," Xi said.
"China welcomes the participation of Central Asian countries in special cooperative plans under the Belt and Road Initiative, including sustainable development technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and spatial information technology," he added.
The Chinese leader reaffirmed the need to expand security ties against the "three evils" in the region: separatism, terrorism and extremism.
"The six countries should resolutely oppose external interference in the internal affairs of regional countries and attempts to instigate 'color revolutions,'" Xi told the leaders, referring to Western countries, on top of Which is the United States.
The Ukrainian conflict and China will be at the center of focus of discussions held by G7 leaders, who began to arrive on Thursday at the group's summit in Japan's Hiroshima.
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