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China, Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation
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China and Kazakhstan agreed to strengthen extensive cooperation in the economic, energy, environment and cultural sectors, according to a joint communique released in Beijing on Saturday.

The neighboring countries pledged to make joint efforts to strive for an earlier realization of increasing bilateral trade volume to 15 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, said the communique, adding the two would provide convenience for each other's investors.

The two will continue to deepen energy cooperation and pledge to create favorable conditions for the smooth completion of the building of the China-Kazakhstan natural gas pipeline by the end of 2009.

Kazakhstan supported China's participation in the exploration and development of the continental shelf of the Caspian Sea, said the communique.

The two countries will strengthen cooperation on the management, experiences exchanges and information sharing of finance to jointly improve the ability of withstanding financial crisis.

They also agreed to establish a mechanism on the promotion of agricultural cooperation as soon as possible and support the economic and trade development in border areas.

They will seek solution to problems in utilizing and protecting the cross-border rivers resources in an equitable and reasonable way.

China and Kazakhstan encouraged the departments of both sides in charge of culture, education, science, sport and tourism affairs to enhance understanding and contacts. They would continue to hold cultural festivals in both countries and strengthen the exchanges of teachers and college students and joint academic research.

The two sides agreed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization had become an effective mechanism to promote stability in central Asia and played a constructive role in international and regional affairs, and pledged to enhance cooperation in various fields within this organization.

The joint communique was signed by Premier Wen Jiabao and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov after their talks on Wednesday.

Masimov is on a four-day visit to China as a guest of Wen. He is now in Sanya in the southern Hainan Province to attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a platform for high-level interaction between leaders from Asia and the world.

(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2008)

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