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Strategic Partnership Forged with Kazakhstan

President Hu Jintao met with his counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Kazakhstani capital of Astana today and signed a joint statement on establishing and developing a strategic partnership between them.

"In view of profound changes in regional and international situations, to promote good-neighborliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation, the two countries decide to establish and develop strategic partnership," said the statement, stressing that it was not directed against any third country.

Both sides agreed to give full support and provide whatever was needed to ensure completion of the Atasu-Alataw Pass oil pipeline as scheduled, speed up a pilot study on a natural gas pipeline between them and start construction of a cooperation center on the border as soon as possible.

They committed to improving their trade and investment environment, creating favorable conditions for banks to operate on each other's soil, exchanging information on natural disasters and protecting water resources in shared rivers.

In the statement, China supported Kazakhstan's bid to join the WTO while Kazakhstan reaffirmed its one-China policy.

The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation for peace and development in the region and pledged efforts within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

On UN reform, they maintained that attention should be given to the representation of developing countries and more participation by them in UN decision-making.

UN reform must be comprehensive and cover a wide range of areas and all resolutions on this important issue require broad-based consensus through democratic consultation, the joint statement said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2005)

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