Xi calls for 'evergreen' China-Kyrgyzstan friendship

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 11, 2019
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) holds talks with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, June 6, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Kyrgyzstan have fostered an exemplary state-to-state relationship and should join hands to bring bilateral ties to a new height amid profound global changes, said Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi made the remarks in a signed article titled "May China-Kyrgyzstan Friendship Thrive Like an Evergreen Tree" and published Tuesday on Kyrgyz media on the eve of his state visit to the Central Asian country.

"The people of China and Kyrgyzstan are close neighbors sharing a long tradition of friendship," Xi said in the article, carried by the leading Slovo Kyrgyzstana newspaper and the state-run Kabar News Agency.

Recalling his first visit to the country six years ago, Xi said that trip ushered the China-Kyrgyzstan relationship into a new era of strategic partnership.

"Now six years on, it is heartening to see that this relationship has been upgraded further to a comprehensive strategic partnership, and that our friendship and cooperation are brimming with vigor and vitality like the mountains and grasslands in the prime of summer," he added.

The two countries, he pointed out, "are good neighbors, good friends, good partners, and good brothers," and have set "a fine example of a new type of state-to-state relations featuring mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation."

Xi noted that the China-Kyrgyzstan relationship is defined by stronger mutual political trust, deepening results-oriented cooperation, and closer people-to-people exchanges.

"China strongly supports the Kyrgyz people's independent choice of a development path suited to their national realities, and all policy measures taken by the Kyrgyz government to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xi said.

"Likewise, Kyrgyzstan has rendered China full support and cooperation on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism," added the president.

Noting that Kyrgyzstan is one of the earliest supporters and participants of Belt and Road cooperation, Xi said major outcomes have been achieved through bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, energy, infrastructure development and connectivity.

China, he said, has become Kyrgyzstan's top trading partner and source of investment, with bilateral trade exceeding 5.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, a 150-fold increase from the early days of diplomatic engagement.

Meanwhile, more than 70,000 people traveled between the two countries and over 4,600 Kyrgyz students were studying in China in 2018, said the president, noting that four Confucius Institutes and 21 Confucius Classrooms are operating in Kyrgyzstan, and the Bishkek No. 95 Middle School built with Chinese assistance has become the most popular school in the local area.

Citing joint events commemorating celebrated Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aytmatov and the planned presentation of Chinese opera Manas in Kyrgyzstan, Xi said, "I believe this new rendition of our shared cultural heritage will wow the audience and help renew the friendship between China and Kyrgyzstan in this new era."

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