Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 17, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Bin)
XI'AN, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held talks in Xi'an with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit.
Xi warmly welcomed Tokayev to China for the summit and the state visit. Xi expressed his pleasure at hosting Tokayev in Xi'an and once again wished him a happy birthday as he turned 70 on this very day.
Xi pointed out that Tokayev's state visit to China on this special occasion speaks volumes about the strength of the bilateral ties and once again attests to his unique bond with China.
China and Kazakhstan are trustworthy good friends, good brothers and good partners, he said.
Xi stressed that both countries are at a crucial stage of development and rejuvenation, and China-Kazakhstan relations have entered the next three golden decades.
The two sides should vigorously carry forward the traditional friendship, firmly support each other, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, pursue development and rejuvenation, and build a China-Kazakhstan community with a shared future featuring everlasting friendship, strong mutual trust and solidarity, Xi said.
An independent, stable, and prosperous Kazakhstan meets the common interests of the Chinese and Kazakh people, Xi said, noting that China firmly supports Kazakhstan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and in choosing its development path based on national conditions.
Xi said China and Kazakhstan have successfully carried out dozens of important cooperation projects since he proposed the Belt and Road Initiative 10 years ago.
He called for joint efforts to expand cooperation in economy, trade, investment, agriculture, automobile manufacturing and energy, deepen connectivity, and explore new cooperation areas including e-commerce, innovation and big data.
China and Kazakhstan will take the signing of an agreement on mutual visa exemption as an opportunity to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, Xi said.
He welcomed the launch of the Kazakhstan tourism year in China in 2024, and expressed his belief that the opening of a Kazakh consulate general in Xi'an will promote local exchanges between the two countries.
Xi said the forthcoming summit is of milestone significance and will usher China-Central Asia cooperation into a new era.
China is ready to work with Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan to build the China-Central Asia mechanism into an important platform to promote the in-depth cooperation of the six countries, Xi said.
Tokayev extended congratulations on China's great achievements under Xi's leadership and expressed his belief that China will have an even more brilliant future.
Tokayev said he totally agrees with Xi on the evaluation of bilateral relations and the suggestions on further strengthening cooperation. Stressing China's special and important position in his country's foreign policy, he said the Kazakhstan-China relations are based on strong friendship and solid mutual trust and enjoy common goals and missions.
Kazakhstan is ready to work with China to further strengthen their permanent comprehensive strategic partnership and lay a solid foundation for the two countries to usher in another three golden decades, said Tokayev.
He applauded the signing of the mutual visa exemption agreement and vowed to continue taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
He said Kazakhstan actively champions the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, all proposed by Xi.
Kazakhstan stands ready to work with China to fully leverage the China-Central Asia mechanism and jointly promote the regional security, stability and development, said Tokayev.
After the talks, the two heads of state signed a joint statement and witnessed the signing of a raft of bilateral documents on cooperation in areas including economy, trade, energy, transport, agriculture, connectivity, culture, and local affairs.
Cai Qi, Wang Yi and Qin Gang were present at the events.
Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 17, 2023. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)