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Kazakhstan Pact Prioritizes Oil and Gas
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China and Kazakhstan will extend collaboration in the oil and gas sectors, according to an agreement signed by President Hu Jintao and his visiting Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Beijing yesterday.


The document under the "China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Strategy for the 21st Century" agrees to support cross-border construction of oil and gas pipelines and extend close collaboration on oil and gas processing, building new power facilities and providing electricity to third-party countries.



It encourages mutual investment and pledges to foster favorable conditions for enterprises investing in certain industries such as machinery manufacturing, foodstuffs and textiles. The two sides will try to expand trade volume to US$10 billion by 2010 and to US$15 billion by 2015.


The nations also pledged to strengthen collaboration to crack down on border crimes, terrorism, separatism and extremism.


"The two sides will continue to have cooperation between law enforcement departments to fight against drug smuggling, weaponry and explosives trafficking, money-laundering and transnational organized crime," it says.



It said both sides will boost the volume of rail freight and explore new railway routes between the two countries.


Customs formalities will be simplified and swift attention will be given to address any problems in import-export inspections.


The two countries also signed 12 documents on the economy, energy, finance, education, and culture, including one on the launch of a Confucius Institute in Kazakhstan.


The 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations will be celebrated this year and the "Kazakh Culture Festival" will be held in China next year, Hu said.



China and Kazakhstan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional body regrouping Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


Nazarbayev is in Beijing for a five-day state visit, the first since he won a re-election last December. He is scheduled to meet top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao; and the visit will also take him to Hong Kong and Macao.



(China Daily December 21, 2006)

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