Kazakhstan foreign minister, new ambassador of China review bilateral relations

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ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov held a meeting with the new Ambassador of China to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao on November 9 to discuss the state and prospects of bilateral political relations, issues of trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, and interaction on security issues between Kazakhstan and China, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

Special attention was paid to the implementation of bilateral agreements reached during the state visit of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to China and his participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in June 2018.

According to Mr. Abdrakhmanov, successful comprehensive cooperation between Astana and Beijing has largely been made possible due to the efforts of the heads of the two states in establishing particularly friendly and trusting relations. In recent years, a number of major investment projects have been implemented, including as part of Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol New Economic Policy convergence with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

China is the largest foreign trade partner of Kazakhstan, and Astana is interested in the further expansion of the presence of Kazakh products, primarily agricultural, on the Chinese market. The results of the business forum, held in September this year in Astana on the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road initiative, which was attended by more than 130 representatives of the Chinese business community, were highly appreciated. The parties expressed interest in further implementation of the Program for the development of production capacities. Today, 51 joint projects cumulatively worth $27 billion are currently being implemented, nine of which have already been launched, worth $2.5 billion.

In this context, the sides discussed the upcoming high-profile governmental meetings, the results of which will provide a stimulus to the development of trade, economic and investment relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Xiao, commending the Kazakh President’s recent State of the Nation Address, expressed China’s interest in the implementation of a number of initiatives, such as declaring 2019 the Year of Youth, supporting tourism, and developing megalopolises, using the example of Shymkent.

The parties also noted that the numerous Kazakh diaspora in China is a kind of living “bridge of friendship” between the two countries. At the same time, it was agreed that the problems related to the protection of the rights and interests of ethnic Kazakhs from China’s Xinjiang region will be positively solved based on the principles of mutual trust, good neighborliness and respect and in the spirit of a high level of strategic partnership.

Sergey Kwan

TCA