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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan Further Develop and Deepen China-Uzbekistan Strategic Partnership

2013/09/09

On Sep. 9, 2013, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan in Tashkent. The two heads of state had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-Uzbekistan relations as well as international and regional issue of mutual interest and reached broad consensus. They decided to further develop and deepen China-Uzbekistan strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping pointed out that Uzbekistan is located at the geopolitical centre of Central Asia. The Silk Road has linked China and Uzbekistan together since ancient times. The two countries have become important strategic partners. In face of the new changes in the international and regional situations as well as the development needs of bilateral relations, both sides should, from a long-term perspective, carry forward the tradition and forge ahead into the future to well plan for the development of China-Uzbekistan relations. We will sign the China-Uzbekistan Friendship and Cooperation Treaty to affirm the principles and course for the development of bilateral relations in legal form, so as to push forward China-Uzbekistan strategic partnership to a new high.

Xi Jinping stressed that high-level mutual trust is a unique advantage of China-Uzbekistan relations. Both sides should firmly support the development path the other has chosen in accordance with its own national conditions, support each other's position on issues concerning core interests, exchange views and coordinate positions on major issues in a timely manner.

Xi Jinping raised proposals on bilateral practical cooperation. The first is to raise the volume of bilateral trade to five billion U.S. dollars by 2017. To start the China-Uzbekistan FTA negotiations at an early date and to expand mutual investment. The second is to deepen energy cooperation. To ensure the long-term safe and stable operation of the China-Uzbekistan gas pipeline, to expand cooperation in the fields of natural gas processing, oil shale development and renewable energy. The third is to promote infrastructure connectivity, to complete at an early date the rail and road networks linking China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The fourth is to work together to build special industrial zones and agricultural demonstration parks, to expand local-currency settlement, to beef up cooperation in science and technology. The fifth is to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges, to hold theme year in each other's country, to set up a Confucius Institute in Samarkand, to push forward the establishment of more pairs of friendly provinces, states and cities.

Karimov expressed that Uzbekistan and China have always treated each other by the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual support and non-interference into each other's internal affairs. China sincerely helps Uzbekistan develop, has never imposed pressure on the Uzbek side and has never attached any political strings. Facts prove that China is a great neighbour and a reliable partner of Uzbekistan. The Uzbek people admire China's time-honoured civilization as well as the achievements of modernization drive, appreciate China's important contributions to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. Through the talks with President Xi Jinping, I keenly felt the self-confidence of the Chinese leader in China's development path and his confidence in a better future of the country. Wish the Chinese people, with firmer steps along the path chosen on its own under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), unceasingly move towards the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. I believe President Xi Jinping, through the visit, will feel the profound friendship of the Uzbek people towards the Chinese people so as to inject fresh impetus into bilateral friendly cooperation.

Karimov expressed that the energy sector is a priority for bilateral cooperation. The Uzbek side will well construct the natural gas pipeline project to make it a safe and reliable energy channel as well as a tie of friendly cooperation between the two countries. Uzbekistan welcomes investments from Chinese businesses and hopes to strengthen connectivity with China in the fields of trade, communications, transport infrastructure, people-to-people and cultural exchanges in order to jointly build a modern Silk Road and to benefit both peoples.

The two heads of state exchanged views on the Central Asia situation. They oppose external forces interfering in any form in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries and undermining stability in Central Asia. Both sides decided to deepen cooperation on law enforcement, security and defense in an all-round manner, to join hands combating the "three evil forces", drug-trafficking and transnational crime, to protect large cooperation projects, in a bid to maintain common tranquility of the two countries as well as peace and stability of the Central Asian region. Both sides will strengthen cooperation within the SCO to push the organization to seize new opportunities, to face new challenges and to achieve new development.

Both sides as well exchanged views on Afghanistan and other issues, expressing willingness to work with the international community to support the peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction process in Afghanistan.

Following the talks, the two heads of state signed the China-Uzbekistan Joint Declaration on Further Developing and Deepening Strategic Partnership and the China-Uzbekistan Friendship and Cooperation Treaty. They witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents in the fields of economy, trade, energy, investment, financing and Chinese language teaching.

The two heads of state met the press. Xi Jinping stressed that friendship for generations and mutually beneficial cooperation is a correct common choice of the two countries. It is in the fundamental interest of the two countries and the two peoples. The two countries should be all-dimensional strategic partners for generations. The China-Uzbekistan relationship has entered a new stage of development and is facing broader space for development. We should well maintain and develop bilateral relations to inject strong impetus into the common development and prosperity of the two countries.

Prior to the talks, Karimov held a welcome ceremony for Xi Jinping.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present at the above activities.

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