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Treaty Signed with Uzbekistan

China and Uzbekistan signed a treaty on friendly and cooperative partnership on Wednesday at the start of Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov's three-day state visit to China.

"The signing of the treaty demonstrates the two people's common will and determination to maintain their friendship. It also lays down a sound political and legal foundation for the long-term development of ties," President Hu Jintao told Karimov during their official meeting.

Hu said the government values its relations with Uzbekistan and will follow the treaty to promote all-round cooperation to seek common development.

He also expressed appreciation for Uzbekistan's adherence to the one-China policy and its support of China's efforts for national reunification.

"China respects the way the Uzbekistani people choose to develop their country and their efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territory integrity," Hu said.

Karimov said the treaty indicates that the relationship between Uzbekistan and China has entered a new stage.

"It lays down a solid foundation for the two countries to develop a new strategic partnership," he said.

China and Uzbekistan also signed 13 documents on economic and technological cooperation on the same day.

Hu said the two countries should try to promote cooperation in the fields of oil, gas, mining, telecommunications, transportation and infrastructure construction.

"China encourages and supports businesses from the two countries in increasing exchange and cooperation in trade and investment," Hu said.

Hu also gave his word that China will support Uzbekistan in joining the WTO.

Karimov said Uzbekistan and China have witnessed rapid growth in economic and trade cooperation over recent years and still enjoy great potential for cooperation.

They are both members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional organization founded in 2001. In 2004, SCO launched a regional anti-terror agency in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent.

Hu said China and Central Asian countries enjoy common interests in safeguarding regional peace, stability and security and in seeking common development and prosperity.

Karimov said Uzbekistan and China share consistent stances concerning safeguarding regional peace and security.

He arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon. This is his fourth visit since assuming the presidency.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2005)

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