Xi separately meets heads of Central Asian countries to strengthen ties
Beijing, May 18 (EFE).- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday met separately with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the central Chinese city of Xi’an on the sidelines of the China-Central Asia summit, official media reported.
During the meetings, Xi stressed on the need for cooperation to make “further progress” and China’s desire to “strengthen trust and mutual support” with these countries.
He also called for advancing cooperation in fields such as trade, agriculture and to improve connectivity, while adding more projects to the New Silk Road infrastructure initiative, with which China looks to build an international trade network and globalize its influence.
Between Thursday and Friday, Xi is expected to meet jointly with the presidents of the five Central Asian countries.
Energy and connectivity remain the main ways for China to deepen ties, although the summit is expected to boost e-commerce, the digital economy and new forms of business, according to state-owned Xinhua agency.
Trade between China and the five Central Asian states increased by 22 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, the official Global Times newspaper reported.
During this period, Chinese imports of agricultural, energy and mineral products rose more than 50 percent year-on-year, while exports of mechanical and electrical products to these countries increased by 42 percent. EFE