On May 19, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the First Central Asia – China Summit in Xi'an.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov also participated in the event, which was chaired by the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
In accordance with the agenda, issues of further enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation between Central Asia and China and current international and regional issues were discussed.
In his speech, the President of Uzbekistan noted the symbolism of holding the summit in ancient Xi'an, which for many centuries served as the starting point of the Great Silk Road, which has become an essential factor of civilizational development, connectivity and progress throughout the Eurasian continent.
It was stressed that the current meeting is crucial in a complex international situation.
“Our countries, having overcome the trials of the pandemic, faced the negative consequences of the global crisis of confidence.
Severe gaps in sustainable transport and logistics chains, which is especially sensitive for Central Asia, food and energy security challenges, risks of social tension against the background of rising import inflation and other problems require us to coordinate more closely and interact in practice”, the Head of State noted.
It was noted with satisfaction that Central Asia is a cohesive and robust region, open to dialogue and full-scale partnership.
To ensure closer coordination and functional interaction, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev put forward several important initiatives to develop regional cooperation based on a long-term agenda, long-term plans, and tasks of multifaceted cooperation.
The necessity of establishing interaction between the leading think tanks of the six countries for the development of strategic approaches, comprehensive recommendations and solutions, and “breakthrough” projects on the regional and global scale was noted. As a discussion platform, it was proposed to hold the First International Expert Conference on integrating national development strategies in Samarkand next year.
The President of Uzbekistan focused on the issues of creating conditions for the sustainable development of the region’s countries, where an effective fight against poverty is given a central place.
“I am confident that the adoption and implementation of a joint program with specific tasks to improve living standards and develop territories, primarily rural areas, will be supported by our peoples and will become a common contribution to achieving the Goals of the 2030 Agenda”, the Leader of Uzbekistan stressed.
The Head of State called for further formation of a New economic dialogue and strengthening connectivity, achieving a twofold increase in the trade turnover of the region’s countries with China by 2030.
It is proposed to ensure the implementation of this task through a balanced growth of mutual supplies of industrial goods and agricultural products, the creation of an effective trade and logistics infrastructure and modern wholesale distribution networks, the introduction of green and express corridors, and common e-commerce platforms.
To form favorable framework conditions and legal framework, it was proposed to consider adopting a multilateral Agreement to promote mutual and encouragement of investments.
The President focused on the fact that the issues of deepening industrial cooperation, attracting digital technologies, and introducing innovations can be effectively resolved within the framework of direct interregional contacts with the provinces of China.
It was proposed to hold a forum and exhibition of cities and regions of six countries in Uzbekistan this year to establish practical cooperation and strengthen twinning and partnership relations.
“The development of safe and shortest transport corridors connecting China with our region, with access to Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia, is strategically important. The priority project for the revival of the Great Silk Road is the Trans-Eurasian Highway, the important components of which will become the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan automobile and railway line”, the Leader of Uzbekistan noted.
Ensuring the integration of national programs to develop transport communications and a unified long-term strategy has been defined as a priority task.
It was proposed to pay special attention to cooperation issues on the climate agenda and green energy.
“Unfortunately, the pace of development of energy infrastructure in Central Asia does not keep pace with the speed of industrialization, urbanization, and demographic growth. Today, this is a severe challenge to the long-term sustainable development of our countries”, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed.
Considering China’s technological leadership in solar, wind, hydropower, and existing financial instruments, it was proposed to establish a closer scientific and practical partnership in alternative energy.
In addition, the readiness for fruitful cooperation in solving environmental problems of the Aral Sea region, protecting biodiversity, preserving glaciers and soil, and introducing water-saving technologies was noted.
The President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the current level of regional dialogue on stability and security, supporting China’s global initiative based on the principles of indivisibility of security and peaceful development in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
“We consider it important to fully use the platforms of the dialogue of the Contact Group within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the neighboring countries of Afghanistan to develop a coordinated position and take measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in this country”, the Leader of Uzbekistan stressed.
The importance of continuing regular humanitarian exchanges, exhibitions, concerts and tours, and joint sporting events with broad involvement of young people was noted. In this regard, it was proposed to hold a Forum of young talents together next year.
The Head of State stressed that the countries are strategic partners and reliable friends.
“And today, in the conditions of increasing confrontation and unpredictability in international relations, we provide mutual support and together build a prosperous future for our peoples”, the President said.
In this regard, the initiative of the Chinese side to hold regular meetings to strengthen friendship and partnership between the Central Asian states and China was supported.
The participants expressed confidence that the fruitful results of today’s summit will strengthen good-neighborly relations, comprehensive cooperation, and prosperity of the countries and peoples.
Following the meeting, the heads of state signed the Xi'an Declaration of Central Asia – China Summit and held a joint press conference.
Following the summit, the leaders held a ceremony of planting trees as a sign of friendship, good neighborliness, and common aspirations of the countries for development and prosperity.