China’s Xi unveils grand development plan for Central Asia

Beijing, May 19 (BNA): Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled, on Friday, a grand plan for the development of Central Asia, from building infrastructure to boosting trade.

Addressing the China-Central Asia Summit in Northwest China, Xi said China is ready to coordinate development strategies with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and promote the modernization of all.

“This summit has added new impetus to the development and revitalization of the six provinces, and injected strong positive energy into regional peace and stability,” Xi said later at a press conference with his Central Asian counterparts.

“We will jointly promote a new model of highly complementary, high-level and win-win cooperation.”

The five former Soviet republics, with a network of trade corridors, offer China alternative routes for transporting fuel, food and other goods in the event of disruptions elsewhere.

He said, “China is willing to help Central Asian countries improve their capacity-building in law enforcement, security and defense.”

Xi said China will also upgrade bilateral investment agreements and increase cross-border freight volume with the region.

He added that he would encourage Chinese-funded companies in Central Asia to create more jobs, build warehouses and launch a special train service aimed at boosting tourism.

Bilateral trade between China and Central Asia hit a record $70 billion last year, with Kazakhstan topping $31 billion, as China seeks deeper ties in its pursuit of greater food and energy security.

Xi said the construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline should be accelerated.

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He also called on China and Central Asia to increase oil and gas trade between them, develop energy cooperation across industrial chains, and promote cooperation in new energy and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

In the long run, China supports the construction of an international transport corridor across the Caspian Sea, Xi said, and will promote the construction of transportation hubs for freight train services between China and Europe.


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