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Chinese, Tajikistani Presidents Hold Talks
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and the Tajikistan President Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov held talks in Beijing Friday and exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common interest.

Jiang welcomed Rakhmonov to China on the tenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Tajikistan, and spoke highly of Rakhmonov's efforts and contribution to the development and deepening of China-Tajikistan relations.

Jiang said the two countries maintained good neighborly relations, and the signing of the supplementary border agreement marked the successful conclusion of their border disputes. The document will be in the interests of both countries and will benefit the peoples of two countries.

Rakhmonov said Tajikistan was satisfied to see it has established an all-round cooperative relationship with China and vowed to make utmost efforts towards developing bilateral friendly cooperative ties.

Rakhmonov agreed that the border agreement signed during his visit completely solved the border issues between the two countries, and was an historic event which will further improve cooperation between the two countries.

Jiang made the following proposals for the development of bilateral ties:

1. To further enhance mutual trust in the political area, and to continue to support each other on issues concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the interests of each country.

2. To further develop the practical side of bilateral relations, and endeavor to expand operation between the two sides.

3. To further promote exchanges and contact between the two governments, parliaments and the non-governmental organizations, and to deepen bilateral cultural, educational and artistic exchanges to enhance mutual understanding and friendship.

On the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, Jiang said that the September 11 terrorist attack against the United States has shown that terrorism is a severe threat to international community so "East Turkistan", which has terrorist factions, should be firmly cracked down.

China and Tajikistan share the same stance on terrorism and have common concerns which include "East Turkistan", he said.

China is willing to safeguard regional security and stability by improving cooperation with Tajikistan in this field, he added.

Rakhmonov said that Tajikistan places great importance cooperation and exchanges with China bilaterally and multilaterally.

Tajikistan would like to contribute to the peace, stability and economic development of Afghanistan together with China and the international community, he said.

Tajikistan believes that the booming Shanghai Cooperation Organization will benefit all member countries and will contribute to the peace and stability in this region.

Jiang noted that the framework of the SCO and cooperation among members have progressed favorably and have a great potential.

The organization is still in its early stages and should build itself up so as to meet the challenges brought to the organization by international and regional situation. China would like to push the SCO forward together with Tajikistan, he said.

On the situation in central Asia, Jiang pointed out there have been some changes in the region since the September 11 incident. He said that China respects every nation's right to make choices in their national interest and understands the wish of the central Asian countries to get rid of external threats to their security through their fight against terrorism. China believes that the maintenance of regional security should eventually depend on the efforts made by the countries in this region, Jiang said.

Jiang stressed that China, as a close neighbor of central Asia, sincerely hopes that the region can maintain lasting peace and stability and countries in the region can achieve greater progress, which will be in the interests of countries in this region as well as of China.

He said that China wishes to carry out cooperation with countries in the region within the SCO framework, to jointly maintain regional security and stability and to promote regional development and prosperity.

Jiang said that China and Tajikistan, both neighboring nations of Afghanistan, share similar views on the Afghan issue. China is striving for a political solution to the Afghan issue along with efforts made by the international community, including Tajikistan, Jiang said.

Jiang and Rakhmonov signed a joint statement and a supplementary agreement on border issues today.

Relevant government departments of the two countries also signed a document for energy cooperation and an agreement for China to provide assistance to Tajikistan.

(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2002)

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