Roundup: Direct air route links China's Chengdu, Uzbekistan's Tashkent

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TASHKENT, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- A new direct flight was launched Friday between Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

The air route is run by China's Zhejiang Loong Airlines Co. Ltd, with three round trips scheduled every week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

President of the airline Liu Yi said during a ceremony at Tashkent International Airport "The (first) plane landed at Tashkent airport earlier than the planned time. This is a good sign that our further bilateral cooperation will be ahead of time and (be) fruitful."

In September last year, the country issued a decree to allow Chinese nationals to visit the country for seven days visa-free starting from 2020, becoming the first Central Asian country to grant a visa exemption to Chinese citizens.

Ulugbek Azamov, deputy chairman of the Uzbek State Committee for Tourism Development, noted that the seven-day visa-free regime for Chinese citizens will help sharply increase the number of tourists from China.

It will also provide an opportunity to learn more about the history, culture, and customs of the Uzbek people, added Azamov, noting that the friendship between Uzbekistan and China will be strengthened as a result.

Meanwhile, China has introduced multiple measures to simplify visa procedures for Uzbek tourists.

China is Uzbekistan's largest trading partner, largest source of imports and largest destination of exports. In 2018, their two-way trade increased by 48.4 percent year-on-year to 6.26 billion U.S. dollars. Enditem

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