The first Central Asia-China Summit will be held in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, in May, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang announced on Thursday. The summit will bring together the leaders of China and five Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The summit is the highest-level interaction in the China-Central Asia (C+C5) cooperation mechanism, which was established in 2019. The mechanism aims to promote regional peace, stability and development through dialogue and cooperation on various fields, such as security, economy, trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
The foreign ministers of the six countries held their fourth meeting in Xi’an on Thursday to prepare for the upcoming summit and discuss the content of the outcome document. According to a press release after the meeting, the six countries reiterated their respect for each other’s sovereignty, independence, security and territorial integrity, and expressed their support for each other on issues concerning their core interests. They also opposed any external interference in their internal affairs.
The six countries also fully affirmed the achievements in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the past 10 years, and decided to continue to deepen their cooperation under the principles of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” and “mutual benefit and win-win”. They agreed to prioritize connectivity as a key area of cooperation and to build a comprehensive transportation system integrating highways, railways, aviation and border ports. They also agreed to expand cooperation in agriculture, new energy, e-commerce, green and digital economy, and high technology.
The summit is expected to further consolidate the strategic partnership between China and Central Asian countries and to inject new impetus into regional cooperation amid global turbulence. Analysts said that the summit could also discuss China’s proposals on global development, security and civilization, which were put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022.