The Chinese Foreign Ministry Tuesday said that Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Kazakhstan will greatly promote the development of China-Kazakhstan strategic partnership.
At a news briefing on Premier Wen's official visits to Russia and Kazakhstan from October 27 to 31, Vice Foreign Minister Li Hui said that Wen will also attend the 13th regular meeting between the Chinese Premier and Russian Prime Minister in Moscow and the seventh Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.
Li said it will be Wen's first visit, as well as the first visit of a Chinese premier in the past 7 years, to Kazakhstan.
The visit is of great significance to deepening China-Kazakhstan traditional friendship, promoting bilateral strategic partnership and expanding cooperation in various fields, he said.
According to Li, Wen will meet Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, held talks with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov, to discuss bilateral relations and some other international and regional issues of common concern.
Li said Wen and the leaders of Kazakhstan will especially focus on how to further enhance bilateral cooperation on economy and trade.
"The two sides will sign many cooperation agreements on trade, energy resources, finance, electricity, agriculture and customs," said Li.
"I believe this visit will greatly promote the development of China-Kazakhstan strategic partnership," he added.
Li hailed that Kazakhstan is China's friendly neighbor as the bilateral relations have been developing in a healthy and steady way since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
"The two countries firmly support each other on the issues concerning the core interests of each other, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
China is the second-largest trade partner of Kazakhstan, while Kazakhstan is the second-largest of China in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Bilateral trade volume in the first 8 months this year reached 11.7 billion US dollars, and will hopefully top 15 billion dollars for the whole year, according to Li.
He stressed that China and Kazakhstan have had fruitful cooperation on fighting the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism, including the terrorist forces of the "East Turkistan".
"Such cooperation has provided strong guarantee for the safe and smooth Beijing Olympic Games and also made contribution to safeguarding regional peace and stability," Li added.
(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2008)