BEIJING, May 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China.org.cn on the China-Central Asia Summit:
After the leaders of the five Central Asia countries gathered in Beijing for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the first China-Central Asia Summit attracted the five heads of state to Xi’an. The summit not only focuses on bilateral cooperation and regional governance, but also discusses global and international affairs.
As the first major diplomatic event hosted by China this year, the summit is also a milestone, being the first in-person meeting between the leaders of China and the Central Asia countries. On the cornerstone of mutual trust, mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, the relationship as well as the bilateral cooperation between China and Central Asia has enjoyed three golden decades. China has established full strategic partnerships with all the five Central Asia countries; four “China-Central Asia” foreign ministers’ meetings have been held since 2020, via which programs including the China-Central Asia Agricultural Cooperation Center, the Silk Road Archeological Cooperation Research Center, the traditional medicine center, and the Luban Workshops were inaugurated. More and more pragmatic cooperation in economy, trade and the humanities have transpired, generating the need for more extensive cooperation, and this calls for higher-level dialogue compared to just inter-governmental ones. In June, 2022, the six countries agreed on the “China-Central Asia” leaders’ meeting mechanism; this summit, as a ripe fruit from the new arrangement, will usher in a new chapter of elevated cooperation.
The summit will also inject more impetus for the high-quality development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI). 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI. During the time, Central Asia countries, being where the BRI was first proposed, achieved fruitful cooperation. With stress on connectivity, a whole batch of transportation infrastructure were constructed; camel milk from Kazakhstan, honey from Kyrgyzstan, nuts from Tajikistan, cotton from Turkmenistan and cherries from Uzbekistan have appeared on the table of millions of Chinese households; cooperation in production capacity has been thriving, with projects covering vehicles, energy, medicine and so on, and investment volume has exceeded 20 billion US dollars. In 2022, bilateral trade volume between China and the Central Asia countries reached 70.2 billion US dollars, more than 100 times of that when the they first began diplomatic relations.
However, the BRI is even more significant in that it has brought Central Asia countries the mentality China upholds which features openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win. Currently, China and the Central Asia countries have set a new goal of building a community of shared future in China and the five Central Asia countries. All six countries are against cold-war mentality and power politics, setting an example for major and small countries to cooperate on an equal footing.
Today’s world is packed with challenges. In the context, active dialogue and mutual support between China and Central Asia countries to confront the challenges together will not only make greater contributions to the stability and prosperity of Asia, but also serve as a model for multilateral collaboration worldwide.
China-Central Asia Summit: A New Milestone on a Millennia-old Road