Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on Wednesday morning on bilateral relations and issues of common concern.
Jiang congratulated Nazarbayev on the successful holding of the summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) which was held Tuesday in Almaty.
The CICA, initiated and promoted by Nazarbayev, reflects the Kazakh government's political ideal and passion to advance regional peace and security in Asia, Jiang said.
As a member state of the CICA and a neighboring country of Kazakhstan, he noted, China has taken an active part in all activities of the forum from the very beginning and made constructive efforts for its development. He pledged that China will continue its efforts in this aspect.
Referring to Sino-Kazakh ties, Jiang said the relations have developed rapidly in recent years.
Among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), he said, Kazakhstan is the first to have settled boundary issues with China, which is a sign of profound mutual trust and has laid a sound foundation for the development of good-neighborly and friendly relations between the two countries.
On the situation in Central Asia, Jiang said the situation in the region has changed to some extent after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, nevertheless, the affairs in Central Asia should be handled by Asian countries themselves in the end.
The founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a major strategic decision made on a correct assessment of the situation, said the Chinese president.
It conforms to the practical needs of the region, the interests of the SCO member countries, and the trend of development of history, he added.
Nazarbayev said an SCO coordinators' meeting held in Almaty a few days ago reached agreement on a draft document to be signed in the upcoming St. Petersburg summit. Kazakhstan is willing to make concerted efforts with other SCO member nations to make the summit a complete success, he said.
Referring to the CICA summit, the Kazakh president said that although the summit failed to discuss specific issues, it is of significance as it brought India and Pakistan to sit at the same table.
In the past 10 years, the Kazakh-Chinese relations have developed smoothly and made great achievements, Nazarbayev said.
He expressed satisfaction over the fact that cross-border trade has grown rapidly and cooperation in security and national defense become closer between the two countries.
Nazarbayev reiterated his country's firm support to China on the Taiwan issue.
Earlier in the day, Jiang held talks with Hamid Karzai, chairman of the Afghan interim government on issues of common concern.
Jiang left Almaty for St. Petersburg, Russia, later in the day to attend the SCO summit and then pay state visits to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Iceland.
(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2002)