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Wang Yi Hosts "China+Central Asia" Foreign Ministers' Meeting

On May 12, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted the second "China+Central Asia" (C+C5) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province. The meeting was attended by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, and Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov.

Wang Yi expressed, despite the pandemic, the foreign ministers of China and the five Central Asian countries hold the offline meeting, which demonstrates the confidence of the six countries in defeating the virus and the resolution to strengthen solidarity and coordination. Since the first meeting of C+C5 foreign ministers' meeting was held last July, we have overcome the shocks of the COVID-19. Guided by head of state diplomacy and themed with fight against the COVID-19, we have protected security of our peoples, taken multiple measures to resume work and production, and further advanced connectivity, injecting constant impetus into coordinated regional development and economic recovery, and making concrete contributions to regional peace and development. Facts prove that the collective cooperation between China and Central Asia comes at the right time, with promising prospects.

Wang Yi said, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the independence of the C5 countries. The Chinese people often say, "At thirty, one should be able to stand firm". Over three decades, the Central Asian countries have an extraordinary journey, and become a major force of promoting regional development, and maintaining world peace. China and the Central Asian countries have carried forward friendship and explored cooperation over the past three decades. We have established the all-round strategic partnership, and taken the lead in building a community with a shared future for mankind. The historical border issues have been settled once and for all via peace talks, transforming the 3,300-kilometer-long border into a bridge of friendship and cooperation. We have advocated a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, laying a solid foundation for maintaining security of people in the region. We have actively participated in jointly building the Belt and Road, instilling vigor and vitality into the ancient Silk Road. Enjoying close cultural links and people-to-people affinity, we inherit traditional friendship, and add new dimensions of the age.

Wang Yi stressed, at this new historical starting point, we should draw blueprints in the next three decades, firmly explore the new-type regional cooperation path in tune with the trend of the times and with their own characteristics, and jointly build a belt of mutually beneficial cooperation and development, to forge a community with a shared future regional cooperation. Wang Yi proposed five points in this regard:

First, we should work together to fight the pandemic, and build a global community of health for all. China stands ready to work with all sides to put in place a notification mechanism for major epidemics as soon as possible, constantly improve the mechanism for joint prevention and control against COVID-19, strengthen telemedicine cooperation, and build centers for traditional medicine in all Central Asian countries, enhancing capacity building in public health. China will give active consideration to offering a new batch of vaccine assistance to the Central Asian countries, carry out cooperation on development and the joint production of vaccines, and provide convenience to each other's citizens in receiving vaccination.

Second, we should make innovations and foster pilot zones along the Silk Road economic belt. China is willing to better synergize with C5 countries on markets, products, rules and funding, and improve the quality and scale of trade. We will strengthen modern agricultural cooperation, build China-Central Asia Agricultural Cooperation Center, and set up and promote agricultural science and technology demonstration parks. We will share advanced technology and equipment, and implement more people-centered model projects with higher standards, helping all countries advance industrialization. We will expand high-tech cooperation in 5G and AI, and establish the regional digital partnership. We will strengthen cooperation among adjacent regions, and accelerate the establishment of the sub-national cooperation mechanism of "China+Central Asia". China will provide another 450 government scholarships and set up five Luban Workshops for C5 countries in three years, helping them training highly competent talent.

Third, we should build a grand Eurasian passageway of interconnectivity based on open cooperation. Leveraging the geological advantage of the Central Asia, we will ensure the smooth operation of China-Europe freight trains and China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, explore the building of cross-country railways, tap potential of multimodal transport, and expand the strategic transport corridor linking Asia and Europe. We will constantly facilitate customs clearance, and build "green passage" of cross-border flow of goods, ensuring security and stability of industrial and supply chains of that region. China stands ready to work with all sides to establish mutual recognition mechanisms for health codes information, and "fast track" for movement of people, promoting safe and orderly flow of personnel.

Fourth, we should seek harmony and stability. Relying on bilateral or multilateral platforms such as the SCO and the CICA, we will firmly crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, and other "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism, and separatism. We will strengthen cooperation on preventing transnational organized crime, and on narcotics control, cybersecurity, NGO management, and large activity security, striving to create a "safe Silk Road". We will give each other staunch mutual support on safeguarding national sovereignty and security, clearly oppose foreign intervention, and maintain regional security and stability. China supports the peace talks in the "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" principle, and the inclusive political arrangement for the future national structure of Afghanistan. Foreign troops should withdraw from Afghanistan in an orderly and responsible manner to ensure a stable transition of the situation in Afghanistan. China and the Central Asian countries should leverage their respective strengths to play a constructive role.

Fifth, we should strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, and jointly chart a new blueprint for high-quality development. China is willing to work with the Central Asian countries to practice concept of green development, strengthen cooperation in fields such as climate change, and biodiversity protection, Aral Sea governance and desertification prevention and control, improving harmonious coexistence between human and nature. China plans to set up "Silk Road Archaeological Cooperation Research Center" in China's Northwest University, and welcomes active participation of all sides. China is willing to share its experience in poverty alleviation with the Central Asian countries, make the training plan of reducing poverty and benefiting farmers in the next three years based on needs of the Central Asian countries, and jointly advance development and revitalization in the rural areas.

Wang Yi pointed out, this year marks the centenary of the founding of the CPC and the launch of the 14th Five-Year Plan. China welcomes the Central Asian countries to board the fast train of China's development for delivering common development and prosperity. Let's join hands to embrace a brighter future of the cooperation between China and the Central Asian countries, and contribute more wisdom and energy to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The foreign ministers of the five countries congratulated on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, and spoke highly of China's hosting of the first physical meeting despite of the difficulties of the COVID-19. They expressed, China is a good neighbor and a good partner of their countries, and it has provided precious support for the fight against the pandemic of their countries. The five countries are willing to work with China to promote the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative with their own development strategies, strengthen cooperation in fields such as pandemic response, agriculture, connectivity, e-commerce, digital economy, environmental protection, and people-to-people exchanges, and jointly fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as transnational crimes. The five countries support China in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, hope to enhance coordination with China in multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, firmly safeguard multilateralism, and jointly maintain the regional security and stability. They agree to further improve the establishment of the mechanism for C+C5 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and are willing to work with China to host commemorative events of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

The six foreign ministers also deeply discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the role of neighboring countries, and reached important consensus.

At the meeting, the Joint Statement on the Response to the COVID-19, the Joint Statement on Deepening Sub-national Cooperation and the Joint Statement on the Afghan Issue were released, and the Memorandum on the Establishment of the Mechanism for China and Central Asia Foreign Ministers' Meeting was adopted.

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