Xi eyes closer China-Turkmenistan partnership

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for joint efforts to lift the strategic partnership between China and Turkmenistan to new levels and provide a major boost for both countries' development and revitalization.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in Astana, Kazakhstan, June 9, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)

In a telephone conversation with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Xi suggested that the two sides seize opportunities to comprehensively expand cooperation and infuse fresh vigor and vitality into bilateral collaboration.

Xi pointed out that since the establishment of their diplomatic ties, China and Turkmenistan have created a number of "firsts" in their relations, and become true strategic partners.

The China-Turkmenistan cooperation embodies the painstaking efforts and wisdom of the leaders and people of the two countries, which deserves to be cherished by both sides with double efforts, Xi said.

Noting that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China and the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence, and that the next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Xi said the two sides should seize opportunities to expand cooperation in an all-round way, inject new vitality into their bilateral cooperation, lift the China-Turkmenistan strategic partnership to new levels, and provide a strong impetus for the development and revitalization of the two countries.

Xi stressed that bilateral cooperation on natural gas is a clear manifestation of the mutually beneficial and win-win relations between China and Turkmenistan.

The Chinese side views their bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is willing to take a long-term view and face the future together with Turkmenistan, Xi said.

China is ready to work with Turkmenistan to strengthen energy cooperation in such areas as natural gas, and at the same time vigorously expand cooperation in other fields, import more high-quality products from Turkmenistan, optimize the structure of bilateral trade, deepen cooperation in interconnectivity, expand digital and aerospace cooperation as well as collaborations in other sectors, Xi said.

China is ready to share with Turkmenistan the opportunities of China's big market, so as to realize common development and prosperity of the two countries, Xi added.

Xi pointed out that the two sides have worked together in good faith to overcome the difficulties in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and made important contributions to the global fight.

At present, the pandemic situation still looks grim, and vaccines are an effective barrier against the virus, Xi said, adding that China is willing to continue working with Turkmenistan in the anti-pandemic cooperation, especially the vaccines cooperation, in a bid to jointly safeguard the safety and health of their people, and to push forward the building of a global community of health for all.

For his part, Berdymukhamedov said the Turkmenistan-China relations are witnessing an all-round and in-depth development, and the Turkmen side thanks China for supporting its observance of the policy of permanent neutrality.

The Turkmen side appreciates China's active efforts in maintaining world peace, security and stability and promoting the common development and prosperity of all countries, he said.

The Turkmen side attaches great importance to and cherishes its profound friendship with China, he said, adding that his country stands ready to join China in continuing supporting each other in the spirit of high trust, and further tapping the potential so as to strengthen practical cooperation in such fields as natural gas, economy and trade, cross-border transportation and health care, and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

He also thanked China for offering valuable help for Turkmenistan's anti-pandemic fight, expressing his hope to strengthen cooperation with China to battle the virus.