Unprecedented Dynamism, High Level of Trust and Good Neighborliness: Tokayev on Kazakhstan’s Ties with China

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev commended Kazakhstan’s bilateral ties with China describing them as having an unprecedented dynamism, a high level of trust, and genuine good-neighborliness during the Central Asia – China summit on Tuesday, reports the Akorda press service. 

President Tokayev addresses the meeting. Photo credit: Akorda

Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the virtual summit that commemorated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and five Central Asian countries. During the summit, the leaders discussed the prospects for the development of multifaceted strategic cooperation in various areas between the countries of Central Asia and China.

“Our meeting is timed to a truly historic date – the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries of Central Asia and China. The history of our relations goes back centuries. We sincerely cherish this successful experience of good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation,” said Tokayev.

Leaders gathered for a virtual summit. Photo credit: Akorda

The striking example of this unwavering support for each other was the assistance provided by countries to each other after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese doctors were among the first to visit Kazakhstan back in May 2020 to help it develop COVID-19 treatment protocols and train local specialists in treating the novel infection at the time. 

For Kazakhstan and China, the declaration on strategic partnership signed during Tokayev’s visit to Beijing in September 2019 opened up new horizons of cooperation. Bilateral trade turnover reaches new record highs, according to Tokayev, making US$17 billion in 11 months of 2021.

Kazakhstan also accounts for half of China’s $40 billion investments in the region.

“This is also a very indicative figure. Therefore it is quite natural that our country has become the largest trade and investment partner of China in the region. We intend to continue supporting foreign investors, including our Chinese partners,” said Tokayev, emphasizing a new investment policy that Kazakhstan is developing now aimed at creating more favorable conditions for investors. 

He commended the cooperation in the energy sector referring to the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline, a joint venture established for engineering, construction, and operation of the Atasu-Alashankou and Kenkiyak-Kumkol oil pipelines. 

“Transport corridors through Kazakhstan provide the shortest reliable access for Chinese commodity producers to the markets of Europe, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Joint infrastructure projects such as the terminal in Lianyungang, the dry port in Khorgos, and the Western China-Western Europe highway have supported the Belt and Road project,” said Tokayev.

Addressing his counterparts, Tokayev repeatedly stressed the need to search for new solutions and mechanisms to unlock the enormous potential of Central Asia. Increasing trade and economic cooperation, continuing the Belt and Road initiative through the implementation of major projects with high added value, and diversifying transit-transport routes are the main methods to achieve that goal. 

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