Chinese, Tajik leaders agree to deepen strategic partnership

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Chinese and Tajik leaders approved here Saturday a five-year development plan for the bilateral strategic partnership, pledging an across-the-board strengthening of pragmatic cooperation to achieve common development, prosperity and security.

"The China-Tajikistan relationship is an important component of China's neighborhood diplomacy," visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon during their talks.

Since the two countries established strategic partnership last year, they have further consolidated political mutual trust and sped up cooperation in all fields, and the bilateral relations have demonstrated great vitality and development potential, Xi said, adding that the five-year plan will be the roadmap for further all-round cooperation between the two nations.

Expecting Rahmon to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) host-partners dialogue scheduled for November in Beijing, Xi said both sides should maintain frequent mutual high-level visits and strengthen governmental, legislative and party-to-party exchanges.

Xi proposed that both sides strive to increase bilateral trade to 3 billion U.S. dollars in next five years.

He urged the two countries to seize the opportunity of China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and boost cooperation in various fields.

China and Tajikistan, he said, should cooperate more closely in the areas of oil and gas, electricity, trade and transportation infrastructure construction, improve mutual inter-connectivity, and guarantee a smooth construction of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline.

During the talks, Xi offered China's help for Tajikistan to build an agricultural hi-tech demonstration garden and a planting base, and promised to import more high-quality agricultural and sideline products from Tajikistan.

The two countries should also strengthen cooperation in the aspects of culture, education and sports, and carry forward the Silk Road friendship and spirit, he said.

"Facing a complex and grave regional security situation, our two countries should deepen cooperation in border control and the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crimes," said the Chinese president.

Congratulating Tajikistan on successfully hosting the just-concluded 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Xi stressed that the two countries should jointly promote the grouping's development as well as unity and cooperation among its member states.

The two countries should maintain communication and coordination on international and regional hotspot issues within the frameworks of the United Nations and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

For his part, Rahmon said Tajikistan values the good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with China and is committed to developing bilateral strategic partnership.

Thanking Xi's invitation, Rahmon said he will attend the host's partners dialogue during the APEC Informal Leaders' Meeting in Beijing later this year.

Facing the common threats of the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, Tajikistan and China need to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, security and defense, and launch more joint operations to ensure border security and peace, he said.

Tajikistan hopes to take active part in the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and propel bilateral pragmatic cooperation in electric power, mineral products, transportation infrastructure and cross-border transportation, he said.

Tajikistan looks to China for help in developing its agriculture to achieve food self-sufficiency, said Rahmon.

On youth cooperation, he said Tajikistan will create conditions to boost people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and promote Chinese-language learning in Tajikistan.

Rahmon said Tajikistan and China share common opinions on a host of global and regional issues and should continue to coordinate more closely within multilateral organizations such as the United Nations.

Noting that Xi has played an important role in achieving the success of the 14th SCO summit in Dushanbe, Rahmon thanked China's support and assistance, and agreed to work with China to push forward the SCO development.

The two presidents also exchanged views on issues of common concern, including the situation in Afghanistan, emphasizing their support and willingness to actively participate in the peaceful reconstruction in that country.

Following their talks, Xi and Rahmon signed a joint declaration on further developing and deepening China-Tajikistan strategic partnership.

They witnessed the signing of a number of cooperative documents in economic and trade, agriculture, energy, infrastructure construction and other fields.

At a joint press conference after their meeting, Xi described his talks with Rahmon as fruitful and said they had reached broad consensus.

Developing a bilateral strategic partnership featuring enduring friendship, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation is the common aspiration of the two peoples and a historic choice, and it also meets the demands of our times, said Xi.

China is a sincere and reliable friend of Tajikistan, he said, adding that China will consistently push forward bilateral friendly cooperation and firmly support Tajikistan to choose its own development path in line with its national conditions.

No matter how the global and regional situation shifts, China will always support Tajikistan to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development, Xi said, adding that the two states will be good neighbors, good friends and good partners forever.

Rahmon said Xi's visit has injected new vigor into the development of bilateral relationship.

He fully agreed with Xi's proposals on enhancing bilateral cooperation, saying China's development has brought the hope of peace and development opportunities to the region and the world.

"Tajikistan is willing to be a sincere partner and a close brother of China," he said, pledging to advance bilateral friendship from generation to generation.

Tajikistan is the first leg of Xi's ongoing four-country Asia trip, which will also take him to Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.


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