|Qin Gang Chairs the Fourth China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting|
On April 27, 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang chaired the fourth China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Xi’an. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Kulubaev Zheenbek Moldokanovich, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Saidov Bakhtiyor Odilovich, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev were present.
Qin Gang said that China and Central Asian countries are good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers sharing weal and woe. Over the past 10 years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and the heads of state of the five countries, bilateral cooperation has made a series of historic and groundbreaking achievements. Last year, the heads of state of the six countries jointly announced the building of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, and the China-Central Asia cooperation mechanism came into being. Bilateral strategic mutual trust has reached a new level, mutually beneficial cooperation has gained new impetus, friendly exchanges have entered a new stage, and China-Central Asia relations and regional development have shown unprecedented vitality.
Qin Gang said that the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. Unity is strength. The more chaotic the world is and the more complex the situation is, the more we need to stay focused, strengthen unity and enhance cooperation. The two sides should continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning respective core interests, and remain to be friends and partners with common aspirations, honesty and mutual trust. Efforts should be made to jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, expand cooperation in new and high technologies, and increase exchanges of governance experience. The two sides should step up the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, and jointly strengthen the regional security net. The two sides should firmly oppose interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region by any forces under any pretext, and make Central Asia a clean land for win-win cooperation rather than a battlefield for geopolitical games. The two sides should work together to build the Cultural Silk Road, cultivate high-quality talents, and expand exchanges and cooperation at sub-national levels and in medical institutions and media. The two sides should step up multilateral cooperation, work together to make the international order more just and equitable, and make China’s and Central Asia’s contributions to jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind and promoting world peace and development.
The foreign ministers made comprehensive political preparations for the upcoming China-Central Asia Summit, saying Central Asia-China cooperation has played an important role in consolidating bilateral strategic mutual trust, accelerating their respective development, promoting connectivity and safeguarding common security, and has set an example for mutually beneficial cooperation among countries. The Summit will surely open a new chapter in Central Asia-China relations and bring new opportunities for Central Asian countries to transform and develop and enhance their influence in the region. They will work closely with China to ensure the success of the Summit. Central Asian countries and China enjoy traditional good-neighborliness and friendship, share similar visions and have a shared future. They look forward to all-round cooperation across the industrial chain and building an authoritative platform for cooperation.
The foreign ministers expressed concerns over the current complex situation and geopolitical conflicts, and stressed the need to build bridges rather than walls. All parties spoke highly of the constructive phone call between President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and held the belief that it would be helpful for an early ceasefire and resumption of peace talks. All parties support China’s proposal to promote peace talks and hold that conflicts should be resolved through diplomatic means in accordance with the spirit of international law. They are ready to strengthen coordination with China and jointly commit to universal security, lasting peace and sustainable development in the region.
After the meeting, the foreign ministers jointly signed and issued the media statement of the meeting.
The China-Central Asia Summit will be held in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in May.