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Closer China-Kazakhstan cooperation helps Xinjiang's development
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A deepening of cooperation between China and Kazakhstan will be conducive to the all-round social and economic development in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China, the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan says.

Since the two countries established diplomatic ties in January 1992, bilateral relations have grown in a healthy and stable way, thanks to the efforts of both sides, ambassador Cheng Guoping told Xinhua in an interview Friday.

"China-Kazakhstan ties are now at their best stage of healthy development, and the two countries regard each other as one of their priority partners for cooperation," Cheng said.

The high level of mutual political trust between the two countries has laid a solid foundation for cooperation at the local level between China's Xinjiang region and Kazakhstan, the ambassador said.

In 2008, Xinjiang-Kazakhstan trade totaled 9.07 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for more than half of the total 17.55 billion dollars between the two countries, the ambassador said.

Xinjiang enjoys a unique advantage in human resources as well as a geographical advantage in the overall economic and trade cooperation between China and Kazakhstan, Cheng said.

Xinjiang should serve as a "bridgehead" and "logistics center" for Chinese companies to export products to Kazakhstan and the rest of Central Asia, Cheng said.

Xinjiang-Kazakhstan cooperation will have an economic effect that goes far beyond the scope of local cooperation, and can greatly boost comprehensive development in Xinjiang, Cheng said.

China and Kazakhstan have carried out close and fruitful cooperation in the security field. Kazakhstan has given firm support for China's crackdown on the "East Turkistan" terrorist force and other terrorist groups, and has in recent years twice handed over to the Chinese side terrorists wanted by China's public security authorities.

Strengthening cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and between Xinjiang and Kazakhstan at the local level will help the two peoples better understand each other and push forward the bilateral strategic partnership in a substantial way, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2009)

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