Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday chaired the first China-Central Asia Summit and delivered a keynote speech in Xi’an, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road.
In his speech, Xi Jinping proposed to build a China-Central Asia community with a shared future featuring mutual assistance, common development, universal security, and everlasting friendship.
He said that China and Central Asia are natural partners and close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. He recalled the history of friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two sides along the Silk Road for over 2,000 years.
He praised the achievements of China-Central Asia cooperation in the past decade since he put forward the initiative of jointly building a Silk Road Economic Belt in 2013. He cited examples of infrastructure projects, trade and investment, people-to-people exchanges, and anti-pandemic cooperation that have brought tangible benefits to both sides.
He also outlined four areas of priority for future cooperation: enhancing connectivity, deepening economic and trade ties, strengthening security cooperation, and promoting cultural exchanges.
He stressed that China respects the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and development paths of Central Asian countries, and supports them in playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs.
He called on both sides to uphold the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit, and work together to safeguard regional peace and stability.
The leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan attended the summit via video link. They spoke highly of Xi Jinping’s speech and agreed to enhance strategic communication and coordination with China.
They also expressed their willingness to deepen cooperation with China in various fields under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and jointly build a community with a shared future for China and Central Asia.