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China, Uzbekistan to Focus on Belt and Road Development
The two heads of state agree to elevate the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership
Edited by Li Nan 

Chinese PresidentXi Jinping (left) holds talks with Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 22 (XINHUA)

China and Uzbekistan agreed to focus on jointly promoting the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

During the talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, the two sides pledged to seek synergy between their respective development strategies and fully tap into the potential of their economic and trade cooperation on the principles of consultation, joint development and sharing.

The two leaders said they will actively boost industrial capacity cooperation and build the Jizzakh Industrial Park into an important platform in this regard.

Cooperation in infrastructure construction and energy will be expanded and deepened, and new highlights will be created in agricultural cooperation.

The two heads of state also vowed to increase financial support for major cooperation projects between the two countries.

"We should comprehensively deepen our practical cooperation in all fields ... to push for the common development of our two countries and enrich the meaning of our comprehensive strategic partnership with more cooperation outcomes," Xi told Karimov.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, refers to the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

Xi arrived in the Central Asian country on June 21 for a state visit, the second in three years. He will also attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

During the talks, the two leaders agreed to elevate the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership so as to cement traditional friendship and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.

They decided to continue to strengthen mutual support on issues concerning their core interests such as territory, sovereignty and security, render strong support to each other in their choices of development paths, and enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues.

On security, the two sides vowed to resolutely crack down on "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and actively cooperate on cyber security, drug control and combating cross-border organized crimes.

The two heads of state also agreed to carry out closer cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

"China stands ready to work closely with Uzbekistan to boost the development of our bilateral relations and achieve more practical results, " Xi said.

For his part, Karimov described Uzbekistan and China as "good neighbors and partners," noting that Xi's visit will forcefully promote the traditional friendship and reciprocal cooperation.

He said that Uzbekistan supports China's great cause of reunification and China's principles and positions on such issues as Taiwan and Tibet.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the SCO development.

A joint statement was issued after the summit talks and a raft of cooperation deals were signed between the two sides, covering diplomacy, economy and trade, intellectual property rights and financing.

Uzbekistan is the third and final stop of Xi's three-nation tour, which has taken him to Serbia and Poland.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2016)

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