|Build on the Past to Make Greater Strides in China-Kazakhstan Relations|
President of the People’s Republic of China
In the charming season of autumn, I will be making a state visit to the friendly country of Kazakhstan at the invitation of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. After an interval of five years, it will be my fourth visit to the beautiful country known for its vast steppe, majestic landscape and hospitable people. I very much look forward to the visit.
Bound together by mountains and rivers and common interests, China and Kazakhstan are good neighbors, good friends and good partners. For thousands of years, the two peoples have had amicable ties, jointly writing an epic of east-west interactions along the ancient Silk Road. Huen Tsang, an eminent Tang Dynasty monk (602-664), and Chen Cheng, a Ming Dynasty envoy (1365-1457), both set foot on Kazakhstan. Al-Farabi the “Eastern Aristotle”, Abai Kunanbayev the “sage poet”, and other towering cultural figures of Kazakhstan enjoy widespread fame in China. To this day, their stories are still being told among the two peoples.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Kazakhstan. Over the past three decades, we have braved wind and rain, with our hands always held firmly together. Our interactions and cooperation have become ever more vibrant, and we have travelled an extraordinary path side by side.
— Over the past 30 years, China-Kazakhstan relations have made big strides. We have continuously advanced our relationship from good neighbors to strategic partners and to permanent comprehensive strategic partners. This incomparable characterization of our ties has enabled us to develop a new type of state-to-state relations featuring mutual respect, good-neighborly friendship, solidarity in trying times, and win-win cooperation. We always give each other unwavering support on the core issues bearing on our respective sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. We always respect each other’s choice of development path based on national conditions. And we always take pleasure in each other’s sustained progress in development and national rejuvenation. We are friends to trust and partners to count on for each other, and our peoples always stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.
—Over the past 30 years, China-Kazakhstan cooperation has yielded remarkable results. In recent years, China has been solidly one of Kazakhstan’s leading partners for trade and investment. Navigating the impact of COVID-19, we were able to again bring our bilateral trade above the US$25 billion mark last year, jointly giving a boost to global economic recovery. China and Kazakhstan are pioneers in production capacity and investment cooperation; our cooperation list includes 52 projects worth a total of more than US$21.2 billion. We have completed a number of major strategic projects, such as the 100-MW Zhanatas wind farm, the JAC automobile factory, and Shymkent Oil Refinery modernization. They have been a strong driving force for economic and social progress in Kazakhstan, and have delivered tangible benefits to our two peoples.
—Over the past 30 years, China and Kazakhstan have built extensive infrastructure links. We have put in place a multidimensional transportation network composed of road, railway, aviation, and oil and gas pipelines. And we are resolved to build a Eurasian land-sea multimodal “transportation artery” to offer convenient and efficient services. At all of our five road crossings and two rail crossings, normal cargo flows have resumed. And we are in close communication about opening another rail crossing. At the China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base in the eastern Chinese port of Lianyungang, products from Kazakhstan set sail for the Pacific Ocean. The China-Europe freight trains are running through Kazakhstan via more routes, making an important contribution to the stability of global industrial and supply chains.
—Over the past 30 years, China-Kazakhstan friendship has taken deep roots among our peoples. In Kazakhstan, there are five Confucius Institutes; in China, four universities have opened institutes on Kazakhstan studies and two have added the Kazakh language as a major. The heart-warming story of Xian Xinghai and Bakhtzhan Baikadamov, two great composers in our respective countries, has been turned into a movie. Dr. Saulebek Kabilbekov of Kazakhstan has been working for 24 years in the Daqing Ophthalmology Hospital of Heilongjiang Province, treating nearly 200,000 Chinese patients. China and Kazakhstan will soon establish cultural centers in each other’s countries, and Kazakhstan will host a center of traditional medicine and a Luban Workshop. Our cultural and people-to-people exchanges will make greater strides, and the friendship between our peoples will continue to thrive on an increasingly solid foundation.
Having stood the test of the changing circumstances and the passage of time, China-Kazakhstan relations have long become rock-solid. We should cherish this hard-won achievement, and work harder to carry on the cause of friendship between our two countries. During my upcoming visit, I will have in-depth discussions with President Tokayev on how to further the China-Kazakhstan permanent comprehensive strategic partnership and how to advance our mutually beneficial cooperation across the board. We will set out plans for working together to promote China-Kazakhstan relations with the objective and vision of building a China-Kazakhstan community with a shared future.
First, we need to carry forward our good-neighborly friendship. Deep political mutual trust is the bedrock of the steady and sustained development of China-Kazakhstan relations. China is willing to work with Kazakhstan to make top-level designs for the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, maintain close high-level interactions, and enhance exchanges and cooperation between our governments, legislatures, political parties and localities at various levels. We should make good use of the regular Prime Ministers’ Meetings and the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee and its sub-committees, continue to give each other firm support on issues concerning our respective core interests and major concerns, and make continuous efforts to cement the political foundation of China-Kazakhstan relations.
Second, we need to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. Next year will be the tenth anniversary of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative that I first proposed during my visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. From laying the groundwork to building pillars and frameworks, to delivering results on the ground, and to achieving sustainable progress, the Belt and Road Initiative has become a platform for international cooperation that is open, inclusive, mutually beneficial and promotes win-win cooperation and a global public good widely welcomed by the international community. Setting our sight beyond the pandemic, China would like to partner with Kazakhstan to remain pioneers in Belt and Road cooperation. We should improve investment and trade facilitation, fully unleash the potential of border ports and cross-border transportation, and cultivate new sources of growth such as artificial intelligence, big data, digital finance, e-commerce and green energy. We should commit ourselves to a series of new quality projects that are high-standard, sustainable, and beneficial to the people, bring bilateral cooperation to a higher level, and put the Global Development Initiative into action, so as to contribute our shares to world economic recovery.
Third, we need to firmly safeguard common security. In the face of complex regional and international landscapes, only by embracing unity and cooperation can we overcome difficulties of our times and resolve challenges in security governance. China would like to deepen law enforcement, security and defense cooperation with Kazakhstan. Guided by the Global Security Initiative, we should act on the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to promote the implementation of the Data Security Cooperation Initiative of China+Central Asia. We should join hands to combat terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational organized crimes, and ensure the security of oil and gas pipelines and other large cooperation projects and their personnel. We should resolutely oppose interference by external forces and work together for lasting peace and long-term stability of our region.
Fourth, we need to strengthen international coordination in all respects. We need to enhance coordination within multilateral frameworks such as the UN, the SCO, CICA, and China+Central Asia. We should exchange views timely on international governance, food security, energy security, industrial and supply chains stability, and regional hotspots. We should reject unilateralism and bloc confrontation, and jointly push for an international order that is more just and more equitable.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) will convene its 20th National Congress soon. It will be a gathering of great significance at an important moment as the CPC embarks on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects and marching toward the second centenary goal. We are glad to see that the construction of a New Kazakhstan has been fully launched, and that Kazakhstan is making strides toward the goal of becoming one of the world’s top 30 most developed states. China stands ready to continue to share development achievements with Kazakhstan and learn from each other’s development experience. China’s door of opening-up and friendly cooperation will always be open to Kazakhstan.
As a Kazakh proverb goes, “Friendship is an inexhaustible wealth.” China believes that as long as we keep to the principle of good-neighborly friendship and deepen all-round win-win cooperation, we will surely usher in a more splendid thirty years in China-Kazakhstan relations.