Tajikistan and China sign agreements to boost cooperation

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Tajikistan and China signed 18 agreements to bolster bilateral ties after talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe on June 15.

The agreements signed included documents on investment, agriculture, joint business ventures, and fighting terrorism.

The two presidents praised the China-Tajikistan ties and cooperation in various fields, and together outlined a new blueprint for developing bilateral relations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Xi said Tajikistan has always actively supported and participated in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and the two countries’ cooperation within this framework is fruitful.

He asked the two sides to further synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative with Tajikistan’s national development strategy, tap potentials and raise the quality of cooperation, and deepen their cooperation in connectivity, energy, agriculture and industry.

He pledged China’s willingness to help Tajikistan upgrade agricultural modernization, actively participate in Tajikistan’s construction of free economic zones, and have more exchanges in culture, education and tourism.

Rahmon expressed willingness to enhance bilateral cooperation in key projects in such fields as energy, petrochemicals, hydro power and infrastructure construction within the framework of the Belt and Road, so as to help Tajikistan realize its industrialization goals. He also called on the two sides to boost people-to-people exchanges in such areas as youth, education and culture.

After their talks, the two heads of state attended a ceremony to unveil the construction models of the China-assisted parliament building and government office building in Dushanbe.

Also on June 15, the Chinese president received the Order of the Crown, Tajikistan’s highest decoration, from Tajik President Rahmon.

During the ceremony held at the Tajik presidential palace, Rahmon spoke highly of Xi’s positive contributions to the development of Tajikistan-China relations, saying he is ready to work together with Xi to guide bilateral relations toward greater achievements, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese ambassador to Tajikistan, Liu Bin, earlier said that bilateral trade between Tajikistan and China in 2018 amounted to $1.5 billion, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported.

According to the Chinese ambassador, China is currently Tajikistan’s biggest investor and its third-largest trading partner.

Xi was in the Tajik capital not only for bilateral talks but to attend a summit of Asian leaders.

Earlier, Xi took part in the summit of the 27-member regional grouping called the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

Besides the presidents of Tajikistan and China, the June 15 summit was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and India, who had all gathered a day earlier in neighboring Kyrgyzstan for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Sergey Kwan

TCA