Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev here on Thursday.
The two heads of state said that bearing in mind the long-term development of China-Uzbekistan relations and the future welfare of their people, the two countries will expand mutually beneficial cooperation, cement their friendship and partnership, and implement the vision of a community with a shared future at the bilateral level.
The meeting took place at the newly built International Conference Center, which was ingeniously designed and magnificent, on a refreshing autumn day as the sun shone brightly on Samarkand.
At 9:45 a.m. local time, Xi arrived in a motorcade at the center where he was warmly received by Mirziyoyev as he exited the car. Accompanied by Mirziyoyev, Xi walked to the square outside the north entrance through the central hall featuring both traditional Uzbek patterns and modern design.
Mirziyoyev held a grand welcome ceremony for Xi. The two heads of state stood on the podium as the military band played the national anthems of China and Uzbekistan. Accompanied by Mirziyoyev, Xi inspected the honor guard. They introduced to each other their accompanying officials and watched the parade of the honor guard together.
Following the welcome ceremony, the two heads of state held official talks.
Xi pointed out that over the past 30 years of their diplomatic relations, China and Uzbekistan have always respected each other, enjoyed good-neighborliness and worked in partnership for mutual benefits.
The two countries have kept deepening their strategic mutual trust and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, fully promoted their lasting friendship and elevated China-Uzbekistan relations to the new height of a comprehensive strategic partnership, creating strong impetus for their common development and prosperity, Xi said.
As a good friend, a good partner and a good brother, China firmly supports Uzbekistan in following a development path compatible with its national conditions, supports its efforts to uphold national independence, sovereignty, security and social stability, and opposes interference by any forces in its internal affairs, he said.
China is ready to work with Uzbekistan to implement the vision of a China-Uzbekistan community with a shared future, deepen all-round cooperation for mutual benefit and jointly usher in a better future, he said.
Xi emphasized that China and Uzbekistan should firmly support each other on issues concerning national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and other core interests, move faster to synergize their development strategies and promote common development.
The two sides need to accelerate the bilateral cooperation and make it even more fruitful, Xi said, adding that it is important to scale up cooperation on trade and investment, and step up collaboration on digital economy and green development.
Uzbekistan is welcome to take an active part in the China International Import Expo to share in more of the development opportunities brought by China's massive market, he said.
China is ready to work with Uzbekistan to improve the Eurasian transcontinental transport corridors and make an early start in constructing the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, he said.
The two sides need to expand energy cooperation, jointly ensure the safe operation of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline and extend cooperation to new energy, with a view to fostering a new pattern of all-dimensional energy cooperation, Xi said.
The two sides need to promote people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in areas including education, culture, tourism, sub-national exchanges, environmental protection and archaeology, he said, adding that China supports and will actively take part in Uzbekistan's initiative of "year of culture and art between the people of Central Asian countries and China."
The two sides also need to work together to speed up the establishment of culture centers in each other's country and the building of a Luban Workshop, and communicate the facts of the China-Uzbekistan friendship in the new era, so as to lay a solid public and societal foundation for the sustained and sound growth of China-Uzbekistan relations, Xi said.
Young people from Uzbekistan are welcome to study Chinese in China, Xi said, adding that the Chinese side will continue to carry out healthcare, vaccine and pharmaceutical cooperation with Uzbekistan, and support the building of vaccine production centers in Uzbekistan.
The two sides need to enhance cooperation on poverty alleviation, and inspire and support each other in promoting growth and improving livelihoods, he said.
Noting that China and Central Asian countries have a shared future and a deep stake in each other's security and stability, Xi said that China is ready to work more closely with Uzbekistan to firmly oppose external interference in internal affairs, firmly safeguard domestic stability and firmly defend the security interests of the region.
China appreciates Uzbekistan's important contributions to the success of the SCO Samarkand Summit and is ready to work with Uzbekistan to promote the steady and sustained development of the SCO, Xi said.
Xi said that China will work with Uzbekistan and other regional countries to strengthen the China+Central Asia (C+C5) Meeting mechanism and open up broader space for the cooperation between China and Central Asian countries.
China will also work with Uzbekistan to actively implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), uphold the common interests of developing countries and contribute to building a more just and equitable international governance system, he said.
For his part, Mirziyoyev noted that under the wise leadership of President Xi, China has made remarkable achievements in its development, and the friendly people of China are making firm strides toward realizing the Chinese Dream.
He wished the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) a full success.
Noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between the two countries, Mirziyoyev pointed out that Xi's historic state visit to Uzbekistan will certainly consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, chart the course for future cooperation, and elevate the Uzbekistan-China comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height featuring new vitality and new prospect.
China is a reliable friend and comprehensive strategic partner of Uzbekistan, and Uzbekistan-China relations fully embody the principle of mutual respect, good-neighborliness and mutual benefit, he said.
Mirziyoyev said Uzbekistan appreciates China's valuable support for its national development and fight against COVID-19.
Uzbekistan is firmly and unequivocally committed to the one-China principle, firmly supports China's position on matters concerning its core interests including those related to Taiwan and Xinjiang, and will always be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner worthy of China's trust, he said.
Uzbekistan would like to learn from China's poverty alleviation experience, continue participating actively in the Belt and Road cooperation, advance the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, and enhance cooperation with China in such areas as economy and trade, investment, natural gas, new energy, agricultural infrastructure, culture, sub-national ties and people-to-people exchanges, he said.
Mirziyoyev said Uzbekistan fully supports the GDI and the GSI proposed by China, and appreciates China's strong support for Uzbekistan's presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
He also expressed readiness to work more closely with China within the SCO, C+C5, and "BRICS Plus" mechanisms, to uphold the Shanghai Spirit and to jointly safeguard regional security and stability.
Following the official talks, the two heads of state signed and issued the Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Relevant departments of the two governments signed multiple cooperation documents covering agriculture, digital economy, green development, culture, sub-national cooperation and media.
During the visit, Chinese, Kyrgyz and Uzbek officials signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding concerning cooperation on the Kyrgyz section of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project.
After the official talks, Mirziyoyev held a banquet for Xi, during which they had an in-depth exchange of views on matters of shared interest.
Following the banquet, Mirziyoyev invited Xi to jointly plant an oak tree at the square outside the north entrance of the International Conference Center. Together, the two heads of state earthed up and watered the seedling. A symbol of longevity, the oak tree signifies that China-Uzbekistan friendship will thrive and endure.
Xi pointed out that although this may not be a long visit, he had productive discussions with Mirziyoyev and achieved fruitful outcomes.
The world faces many new risks and challenges that require their collective response, Xi said, expressing his readiness to stay in communication with Mirziyoyev to promote sound growth of China-Uzbekistan relations.
Describing President Xi as his respected elder brother, Mirziyoyev said he always benefits from their meetings. He noted the fruitful outcomes of this historic visit which will point the way for Uzbekistan-China relations and expressed his expectation to maintain close exchanges with Xi.
Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi and He Lifeng were present at the relevant events. ■
Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. Following the official talks, the two heads of state signed and issued the Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Uzbekistan. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a grand welcome ceremony held by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. Following the welcome ceremony, the two heads of state held official talks. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to jointly plant an oak tree at the square outside the north entrance of the International Conference Center in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. Xi held talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev here on Thursday. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in a motorcade at the International Conference Center where he was warmly received by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev as he exits the car in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. Xi held talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev here on Thursday. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)