ASTANA – Bringing bilateral relations with China to a new qualitative level is a top priority for Kazakhstan, said President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev during the meeting with Ding Xuexiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of China and member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee Political Bureau, who arrived with an official visit to Astana, on Nov. 27, reported the Akorda press service.
“I believe that Kazakhstan-China relations are, in fact, a model of mutually beneficial, effective interstate cooperation. We regard China as a significant strategic partner and have high hopes for achieving concrete results of our cooperation in all spheres,” said Tokayev during the meeting.
Tokayev highlighted that meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October determined the development of the Chinese President’s large-scale initiative.
“The talks were highly informative and became an important stage for deepening cooperation. A mutual visa-free regime came into force. Next year has been declared the year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China. I believe this is also a critical decision for mutual exchange, especially for young people,” said Tokayev.
Conveying the greetings of the Chinese President, Ding expressed contentment with the progress of bilateral cooperation.
“The purpose of my visit is to execute the agreements made by the heads of state to continue achieving new results from our cooperation. The Chinese side sincerely rejoices at Kazakhstan’s great success in state building. The successful development of China-Kazakhstan relations fully meets our common interests and contributes to peace and stability in the region. The Chinese side is ready to participate in the implementation of the agreements of the heads of state and in the joint high-quality implementation of the One Belt, One Road initiative,” said Ding.
Earlier, Ding participated in the eleventh meeting of the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee under the chairmanship of Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar.
The two sides discussed cooperation in trade, customs regulation, energy, transportation and logistics, science, culture, environmental protection and water management.
“I am confident that the results of today’s meeting will give a new impetus to strengthening interstate relations. Over the past two years, all subcommittees have implemented agreements within their areas and outlined new benchmarks for further cooperation,” said Sklyar.
Chinese Deputy Premier of the State Council Ding also met with Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.
According to Smailov, the bilateral trade between China has grown by 24% in 10 months. “I believe that at this pace, we will soon be able to achieve the goal of increasing trade turnover to $40 billion, outlined by the heads of two states,” said the Prime Minister.
He added that the visa-free regime, enacted on Nov. 10, opened a new chapter in Kazakhstan-China relations.
“This measure will significantly affect the stimulation of business contacts, facilitate trade, and increase mutual investments and tourism development. This is especially relevant given the upcoming Year of Tourism of Kazakhstan in China,” said Smailov.