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Guest Opinion: Xi'an summit to open new chapter of China-Central Asia cooperation

2023-05-18 15:42·Xinhua News Agency
by Xinhua News Agency

Shaanxi folk dancers perform during a welcoming ceremony for Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on May 17, 2023. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov arrived in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, late Wednesday afternoon for the China-Central Asia Summit, which is scheduled for May 18 and 19. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

The China-Central Asia Summit is about to be held from Thursday to Friday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Experts from the five Central Asian countries said that the summit will offer a great chance for relevant parties to maintain regional security and stability, promote regional economic development and strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges.


Nurzhan Kasmalieva, head of the international department of Kyrgyzstan's Kabar state news agency:

The high-level meeting shows that the comprehensive strategic partnerships between China and the five Central Asian countries have reached a higher level. The event will be the first offline summit held by the heads of state of China and the five Central Asian countries and will open a new chapter in relations between China and Central Asia, marking a milestone in promoting stability and development in the region.

I believe that against the backdrop of global upheavals, this summit will contribute to strengthening security and stability in the region. At any time, terrorism and extremism pose threats and challenges to the security of Central Asia, and it is hoped that the meeting will achieve additional results in terms of cooperation in the field of security.

Shoazim Shazamanov, associate professor at Uzbekistan's Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies:

The upcoming Xi'an summit will be a historic event. It will open a new era in cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and China. I think the participants will discuss issues of cooperation in the field of transport infrastructure, energy, and measures to combat cross-border threats such as terrorism, drugs and organized crimes, as well as the situation in Afghanistan, stability in Central Asia and national security.

Sheradil Baktygulov, foreign affairs consultant at the Kyrgyz National Institute for Strategic Studies:

China deserves great respect and support for contributing to relations of peace, friendship and cooperation in Central Asia and for advocating mutually beneficial cooperation and peaceful development among all countries. And the Belt and Road Initiative also contains these notions.

China does not force the Central Asian countries to take side. It is a responsible country that respects the choice of the Central Asian countries, unlike the Western states.

This photo taken on April 3, 2023 shows some wind turbine generators of the 100-MW Zhanatas wind farm in Zhanatas, Kazakhstan. The 100-MW Zhanatas wind farm is one of the first batch of key energy projects under the China-Kazakhstan production capacity cooperation framework. (Photo by Kalizhan Ospanov/Xinhua)


Kubanychbek Taabaldiev, professor of international relations at Ala-Too International University of Kyrgyzstan:

The China-Central Asia Summit will provide a new platform and open a new chapter for cooperation among the six participating countries.

The expansion of economic cooperation is the main direction of the development of bilateral relations between the Central Asian countries and China. The region's trade with China has grown dramatically.

Another important reason for the close ties between the countries in Central Asia and China is China's success, not only in the economic field or the introduction of new digital technologies but also in poverty eradication and the improvement of civil society conditions.

The huge Chinese market is becoming the most attractive for manufacturers of all kinds of goods, and the export of green agricultural products from Central Asia to China is increasing.

Serik Korzhumbayev, editor-in-chief of Delovoy Kazakhstan newspaper:

The upcoming China-Central Asia Summit is very important as it will open up broad prospects for and inject impetus into long-term cooperation and development between China and the Central Asian countries in various fields.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. The venue of the summit is the city of Xi'an, one of the historic cities of China. It is a cultural, educational center and logistics hub, the place where the ancient Silk Road began.

The summit will have a positive effect on the long-term cooperation and development of our countries. A new format of cooperation will make it possible to involve the Central Asian region with China's large market in close economic ties.

Sheradil Baktygulov, a foreign affairs consultant at the Kyrgyz National Institute for Strategic Studies:

Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative and the road transport corridors in the Central Asian countries, very beneficial relationships are being built between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan with their major trading partner, China.

By implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, China can deliver goods via the territories of the Central Asian countries to Southern Europe, Türkiye and Iran, while the Central Asian states can supply products to Southeast Asian countries through Chinese ports.

Guzel Maitdinova, director of the Center for Geopolitical Studies at the Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University:

The summit will promote the coupling of the Belt and Road Initiative with the national development strategies of the Central Asian countries. It will be a very significant event that will contribute to the development and modernization of the Central Asian states.

Tourists look at pottery figurines of foreign visitors to China at Xi'an Museum in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Yibo)


Adil Kaukenov, chief expert at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies:

The China-Central Asia Summit is an extremely important event. It will help foster cooperation between the Central Asian countries and China, boost people-to-people bonds, and further promote their good-neighborly relations.

It is no coincidence that Xi'an was chosen -- an ancient capital of China and the starting point of the ancient Silk Road. Today the city has become a strong industrial base for aircraft, automobiles, energy as well as home to giant companies of global importance. Xi'an is now considered as China's main hub of cooperation with Central Asia, where scientific, educational, business and other projects are being implemented.

There are a large number of Kazakh students studying in Xi'an, because this city is one of the main educational centers of China.

Guzel Maitdinova, director of the Center for Geopolitical Studies at the Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University:

High-level interactions are observed not only in the political field but also in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. Thousands of Tajik students receive education in China. Many of them are successful entrepreneurs, translators, engineers and representatives of other professions.

Abdullayev Masharib Saydamatovich, deputy director of the Center for Promotion of Science at Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences:

Uzbekistan and China have been close partners on the Silk Road throughout history, establishing long-standing and stable economic and trade relations. After establishing diplomatic relations over 30 years ago, bilateral ties and cooperation in various fields, including economy and culture, have continued to develop.

The joint restoration project of the ancient city of Khiva is the best example of cultural cooperation between the two countries.

After the joint restoration project in Khiva, cultural cooperation between Uzbekistan and China will continue, and joint restoration work will become an important direction for future cooperation between the two countries.

Nurzhan Kasmalieva, director of the international department of Kyrgyzstan's Kabar state news agency:

China is a good neighbor of Kyrgyzstan. Just as in China, there is also a saying in our country: a close neighbor is better than a distant relative. I expect this summit to provide more convenience for personnel exchanges between Kyrgyzstan and China, such as a more convenient visa system.

The Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan, have rich tourism resources, and we hope that more Chinese friends will visit Kyrgyzstan and more people from the Central Asian countries will go to China.