President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov paid an official visit to the People’s Republic of China on June 5-7.
During his stay in the PRC, the leader of Uzbekistan also partook in the twelfth session of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of the Heads of State.
The Uzbek-Chinese dialogue at the highest level had exceptional priority during President Karimov’s trip to China.
Following an official meeting ceremony characterized by the play of state anthems and performance of military tribute by the guard of honor, the head of our state met with the Chinese President Hu Jintao.
In the wake of negotiations, the PRC leader said he was delighted to meet again with an old friend of his, President Islam Karimov. China and Uzbekistan are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, which is, according to Hu Jintao, a historic event, and the visit is hence to afford a new impetus to the bilateral cooperation. The Chinese President expressed willingness for a reflective exchange of views on bilateral relations and other topics of shared interest with the leader of Uzbekistan.
The current visit has indisputably been momentous, an occasion during which the two sides took stock of the bilateral and multilateral interaction for the last twenty years since our two nations established diplomatic ties.
Crucially, the two leaders inked Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership Relations.
Acknowledging Uzbekistan’s mounting economic and political potential as well as the relations of mutual confidence and respect built between our two countries, the People’s Republic of China, a leading world power, expressed interest in lifting the bilateral relations up to the level of strategic partnership.
Preparation and signing of this critical interstate document was preceded by a long and taxing work of relevant ministries and agencies from the two countries.
Productive implementation of the provisions fixed in the Declaration on Strategic Partnership is to meet the vital and longer-term interests of our two nations and facilitate consolidation of stability, the atmosphere of peace and harmony in Central Asia.
In Uzbekistan, China is considered a keen neighbor with an ancient history and unique culture, a country of immense potential, wielding by right a leading role in world economy and the one in addressing global issues.
Our two countries share similar views and positions on the majority of pressing issues in regional and international politics.
The Chinese officials expressed gratitude for Uzbekistan’s firm and persistent support for the well-thought-out and steadfast one-China policy of Beijing with regards to Taiwan and Tibet and the uncompromising combat against the “three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism”.
The PRC President stressed the need for keeping with current trends conducive to the process of steady and robust development of Uzbek-Chinese relations. Contacts between the two nations have been consistent in all aspects of cooperation, while political mutual confidence has been amplifying. The fact that the bilateral turnover has increased more than forty times within the last few years is a testimony to the swiftly growing trade between the two countries.
Highly appraising the Uzbek leader’s outstanding contribution to boosting the relations of friendship and mutually advantageous cooperation that go back to many centuries, President of the People’s Republic of China said he is an ardent supporter of the domestic and foreign policy of Uzbekistan and opposes interference into its internal affairs under any pretext.
Hu Jintao came forward with a number of proposals for the practical implementation of all deals reached within the framework of bilateral interaction.
First, as the Chinese leader put it, the sides are advised to enhance political confidence, raise the level of mutual support, firmly hold up the path the partner side has opted for, and maintain close contacts and coordination in addressing international and regional issues.
Second, the two parties should facilitate business cooperation, expand scales of trade and economic interaction, build up cooperation in energy sector, accelerate the realization of cooperation plan in non-raw and high technologies, jointly set up special economic zones as well as those of economic and technological advancement, and foster cooperation in transport infrastructure.
Third, the two nations are to embark on close cooperation in security, in countering the “three evils” as well as trafficking and transnational organized crime.
Fourth, our countries are recommended to enlarge cultural cooperation, boost exchange and dialogue, especially among youths, deepen mutual understanding and fortify the foundations of friendship.
One of the key dimensions of interaction to fully suit the interests of the entire region is further progress in transport and communications. In this regard, the two sides expressed comprehensive support for a soonest execution of the project to construct the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway designed to secure a shortest transport route from the PRC to Central and South Asia.
Uzbek and Chinese officials vowed satisfaction with the conclusion of more than 40 trade-economic, investment and finance agreements and contracts totaling 5.2 billion US dollars.
“We will always stay a trusted friend and reliable partner of Uzbekistan,” China’s President added toward the end of talks.
Later that day, President Islam Karimov met with Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao.
The head of Chinese government conveyed his country’s rigid support for the sovereignty and independent development of Uzbekistan, and highly appraised the current policy of consistent and wide-ranging socio-economic reforms as well as that of peace and stability in the region.
Premier of the State Council acknowledged in particular the role of the Cooperation Committee set up by the initiative of the two countries’ leaders and the activity of its six sub-committees.
It was said that promising prospects are abundant for fostering the investment cooperation in hydrocarbon, oil and chemical, mining industries, transport and logistics, mechanical engineering, telecommunications.
The two countries have been energetic and enthusiastic about the project of construction and use of the Uzbekistan-China gas pipeline that will allow for establishing a stable transit corridor for longer-term gas supplies to the PRC.
Important deals were reached in shoring up transport infrastructure and arranging international haulage. Notably, a three-flights-a-week cargo air communication between Uzbekistan’s Navoi air hub and China’s Tianjin is to open July 1, 2012. Furthermore, regular flights are soon to link Navoi airport with China’s major industrial centers – Shanghai and Guangzhou, along with passenger air traffic between Urumqi and Tashkent. A deal has been struck by the two sides to expand the capacities of gas transportation from Central Asia to China.
The negotiations in Beijing served to discuss at length the state of implementation of the agreements concluded, the extension of trade and economic cooperation, participation of leading Chinese companies in the creation of Hi-Tech Industrial Park in Uzbekistan.
To this end, transition to a new level of Uzbek-Chinese dialogue has been factually kick started on all fronts of interaction, primarily in the cardinal augmentation of investment and trade-economic cooperation.
The signed documents envisage the execution of new, wide-ranging schemes in exploration, transportation and reprocessing of crude hydrocarbons, production of new types of chemical goods in demand in the world market. In addition, a range of other projects are envisioned in hi-tech sectors like electronics and electrical engineering, information technologies and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and construction materials.
The two sides reaffirmed their interest in building up the volumes of bilateral trade. Such strategically vital goods as cotton, uranium, natural gas, rare and non-ferrous metals are to be supplied to China, as the deals stipulate.
It was underscored that bolstering cultural and humanitarian ties meets the longer-term interests of our two peoples. The process has been facilitated by the successful execution of the 2010-2013 Cooperation Program that covers science and education, healthcare and tourism, as well as other sectors.
Within the framework of the visit, President Islam Karimov met also with other representatives of the highest political leadership in China – Vice President of the PRC Xi Jinping and Vice Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang. These meeting served to exchange views in detail on the current state and prospects of Sino-Uzbek multilayered cooperation in conditions of raising the relations to the level of strategic partnership, along with critical topics of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and international affairs.
Drawing on the meetings and talks, Islam Karimov expressed profound gratitude for a traditionally warm hospitality and an exceptionally open approach of Chinese partners to the enhancement of bilateral relations. As the head of our state put it, “The Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership Relations reflects the degree and scales of our bilateral ties, and is a requisite of times. It is to become a powerful stimulus and an effective factor for the expansion of interaction in the longer run.”
During his visit to the People’s Republic of China, the President of Uzbekistan attended the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The leaders of SCO member nations at the twelfth session of SCO’s Council of the Heads of State exchanged views on the current situation in the region and the wider world, on pressing issues of international politics, as well as the prospects of SCO development.
It was underlined that the work of the SCO helps intensify regional cooperation, consolidate friendship, neighborliness and mutual confidence, facilitates harmonious coexistence among the SCO participant countries.
The assessment of the Organization’s activities and the approaches of its members to the further improvement of practical cooperation and its forms are reflected in the Declaration of SCO Heads of State toward long-term peace and joint prosperity in the region. The document also secures common views of SCO member nations on issues pertinent to reinforcing interstate relations in conditions of the emerging new, fair, democratic, multipolar world order, their aspiration for the establishment of a space of indivisible security in the world, willingness to go along the path of innovative and sustainable development.
The session participants approved the Principal Directions of Development Strategy of Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Medium Term. It was noted that the SCO as an open and harmonious organization for regional interaction with an established and well functioning institutional base, steadily operating structural bodies, has been facilitating the consolidation of neighborly relations between the member nations for the good of common prosperity.
The heads of state approved a new edition of the regulations on political and diplomatic measures and mechanisms of SCO reaction to circumstances that endanger the peace, security and stability in the region. The SCO leaders also okeyed the 2013-2015 cooperation program of member states in countering terrorism, separatism and extremism. These documents have helped enlarge the normative backbone of security cooperation among the SCO countries.
The meeting participants positively evaluated the efforts in studying the possibilities of the creation of SCO Development Fund and SCO Development Bank.
The heads of state decided to present the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with an observer status at the SCO, and the Republic of Turkey an SCO dialogue partner status.
Uzbekistan has highly appreciated the presidency of the People’s Republic of China in Shanghai Cooperation Organization that has passed under the slogan “The Year of Neighborliness and Friendship”. It was stated that a consistent work has been undertaken by joint efforts of SCO nations toward materializing principal policy goals and objectives standing before the Organization in political, economic and socio-humanitarian realms.
The Chinese leadership highly appraised the comprehensive support offered by the Republic of Uzbekistan for the PRC during the latter’s chairmanship in the SCO.
In accordance with SCO Charter, presidency in the Organization for the upcoming period passes on to the Kyrgyz Republic. Thus the next SCO summit is due 2013 in Kyrgyzstan.