Hu's visits to imporve ties with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to central Asia is aimed to promote sustained, healthy and stable development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and comprehensively boost China's ties with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, a senior Chinese diplomat saidĀ in BeijingĀ Friday.

The remarks were made by Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping at a press conference on Hu's visit to central Asia.

At the invitation of Uzbek President Islam Karimovm, Hu will pay a state visit to Uzbekistan and attend the annual SCO summit in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent from June 9-11.

China-Uzbekistan relations have maintained a good momentum of sound and stable development since diplomatic ties were forged in 1992, Cheng said, adding that Hu's state visit to Uzbekistan is his second after a state visit to the country in June, 2004.

Cheng said Hu will hold talks and meet with Uzbek leaders including Karimovm, exchanging views on the current situation and prospects of bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

The two countries will ink a series of agreements on cooperation in economy and trade as well as other areas, he added.

The bilateral trade volume between China and Uzbekistan reached 1.91 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, with a year-on-year increase of 18.9 percent.

"Hu's visit is expected to help strengthen the China-Uzbekistan friendly and cooperative partnership", Cheng said.

As a guest of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Hu will also visit Kazakhstan from June 11-12.

Cheng said in recent years the China-Kazakhstan strategic partnership has developed rapidly, with frequent high-level exchanges and deepening political mutual trust.

Hu paid a working visit to Kazakhstan last December, Cheng said, noting that the upcoming visit is essential to the growth of the bilateral relationship.

Cheng said both sides attach great importance to Hu's visit and have made a lot of preparation for it.

During his stay in Kazakhstan, Hu will hold talks and meet with Nazarbayev and other leaders to further advance China-Kazakhstan relations, enhance pragmatic cooperation and exchange views on the international and regional issues of common concern, said Cheng.

Cheng said the two countries will sign agreements on economic and trading cooperation.

"President Hu's visit is conducive to maintaining the good momentum of China-Kazakhstan high-level exchanges, strengthening political mutual trust, boosting pragmatic cooperation and advancing their strategic partnership," he said.

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, as China's good neighbors and major partners, enjoy a deep and traditional friendship, pragmatic cooperation and close personnel contact with China, Cheng said.

Cheng also said that it is China's policy to continuously consolidate and enhance mutual trust and friendly cooperation with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which is in the common interests of the peoples of the three nations.

Hu's visit is conducive to deepening China's cooperation with the SCO members and observers in various fields, safeguarding the international and regional security and stability, as well as building a harmonious region featuring lasting peace and common prosperity, said Cheng.

Founded in 2001 in Shanghai, the SCO includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and covers an area of more than 30 million square km with a population of about 1.5 billion. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India have become observer states after the SCO created an observer mechanism in 2004.

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