Kazakhstan Seeks to Enhance Strategic Partnership with China, President Tokayev Says

ASTANA – Kazakhstan seeks to deepen cooperation with China based on strategic partnership and eternal friendship, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a March 27 meeting with a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Ma Xingrui, reported the Akorda press service.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (R) and Ma Xingrui (L). Photo credit: Akorda press service.

The sides discussed the advancement of interregional cooperation in the industry, transport, logistics, agriculture, and tourism sectors.

Tokayev noted that the two countries maintain dynamic and trusting political dialogue at all levels, and called China one of the key trading partners of Kazakhstan, recalling the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2022.

According to Xingrui, the main purpose of his visit is to implement the strategic agreements reached between the Presidents of both countries. 

“As a region of China, we are responsible for the country’s ties to the west. We consider Kazakhstan the most priority area of cooperation. In general, China’s cooperation with Kazakhstan is carried out through Xinjiang,” Xingrui said.

Alikhan Smailov (R) and Ma Xingrui (L). Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service.

During the meeting with Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, the parties addressed a wide range of trade and economic cooperation issues.

According to Smailov, China is one of the country’s largest trading partners, with a share of 18 percent. In 2022, trade between the countries grew by 34 percent, exceeding a record $24 billion in 30 years, with more than 40 percent of the total volume of mutual trade falling on Xinjiang.

He encouraged maintaining a positive trend by increasing the export of Kazakh products to China for 135 types of goods by $1 billion.

The sides also considered investment projects a crucial area of cooperation, particularly the implementation of 52 joint projects worth more than $21 billion. China is among the top five countries investing in the Kazakh economy, with a total inflow of investments reaching nearly $23 billion over the past 15 years.

Smailov and Xingrui also discussed measures to eliminate bottlenecks at the border. According to Smailov, two of the five check points have already launched green corridors to accelerate the movement of agricultural products. He also raised the issue of accelerating the procedures for issuing visas to Kazakh cargo carriers to enter China to increase the pace of trade in general.

Xingrui said that Kazakhstan and China have close economic relations and announced the readiness to intensify mutually beneficial cooperation in agriculture, industry, energy, logistics, education, innovation, and other sectors.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!