China president on the relations with Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — China wants to enhance strategic trust with Kyrgyzstan and “will increase high-level exchanges and step up interactions and cooperation at various levels between our governments, legislatures, political parties and local authorities,” Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in his signed article entitled “May China-Kyrgyzstan Friendship Thrive Like an Evergreen Tree,” published on June 11 in Kyrgyz media ahead of his state visit to the Central Asian country, Xinhua news agency reported.

President Xi Jinping is paying a state visit to Kyrgyzstan from June 12 to 14 and will attend the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek.

In his article, the Chinese leader said that China wants to deepen Belt and Road cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. “Specifically, we will push for greater complementarity between our development strategies, work on the follow-ups to the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, deepen cooperation in such areas as agriculture, infrastructure development and connectivity, and promote trade and investment facilitation.”

“China will continue to do what it can to help and support Kyrgyzstan in its effort to grow its economy and better the lives of its people,” Xi wrote.

He also wrote that China wants to strengthen security cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. “We will follow the vision for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in our joint fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism and against drug-trafficking and transnational organized crime.”

In the words of the Chinese leader, “the China-Kyrgyzstan relationship is defined by the following features:

— Stronger mutual political trust. Shortly after the establishment of diplomatic ties, we found lasting solutions to all boundary issues left from history, turning the 1,000-km border line into a true bond of friendship between our peoples. Having no outstanding issues in our bilateral ties, we firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests. China strongly supports the Kyrgyz people’s independent choice of a development path suited to their national realities, and all policy measures taken by the Kyrgyz government to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Likewise, Kyrgyzstan has rendered China full support and cooperation on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

— Deepening results-oriented cooperation. Kyrgyzstan is one of the earliest supporters and participants of Belt and Road cooperation, and major outcomes have been achieved through our cooperation in economy and trade, energy, infrastructure development and connectivity. China has become Kyrgyzstan’s top trading partner and source of investment, with bilateral trade exceeding 5.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, a 150-fold increase from the early days of diplomatic engagement, and cumulative Chinese investment in Kyrgyzstan approaching 3 billion dollars. Thanks to the Datka-Kemin power transmission and transformation project jointly undertaken by our two countries, uneven power distribution and patchy supply have become a thing of the past in Kyrgyzstan; the Osh Hospital is providing the local community with the best medical services in Central Asia; and the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, defying the many high mountains on its route, has become a transnational transport artery. As Kyrgyzstan continues to increase its export to China, green and quality Kyrgyz agro-products like honey and fruits can be found more often in ordinary Chinese households. Similarly, many Kyrgyz people have taken to online shopping, as e-commerce platforms give them a shopping experience like never before.

— Closer people-to-people exchanges. In 2018, more than 70,000 people traveled between our two countries and over 4,600 Kyrgyz students were studying in China. Four Confucius Institutes and 21 Confucius Classrooms are operating in Kyrgyzstan, and the Bishkek No. 95 Middle School built with Chinese assistance has become the most popular school in the local area. Commemorative events have been jointly hosted by our two sides for the 90th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aytmatov, receiving enthusiastic responses from various quarters. At the invitation of President Jeenbekov, the China National Opera House will present a Chinese opera Manas in Kyrgyzstan. I believe this new rendition of our shared cultural heritage will wow the audience and help renew the friendship between China and Kyrgyzstan in this new era.”

The full text of Xi’s signed article in Kyrgyz media can be found here.

Sergey Kwan

TCA