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Xi'an summit boosts security, development cooperation

China Daily Updated: 2023-05-20

The joint statement and the list of cooperation projects released after the China-Central Asia Summit concluded in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Friday show the event has been highly fruitful.

As President Xi Jinping said in his keynote speech at the opening of the summit, the six countries need to increase mutual assistance, promote common development, better safeguard security and strengthen friendship, in order to consolidate the foundation for peace, stability and common prosperity in the region.

The obvious threat to the region comes from the United States, which has been trying to turn Central Asia into its backyard since the 1990s so it can intensify the geopolitical pressure on both China and Russia. To fulfill its goal, the US has been using every possible excuse to trigger "color revolutions" in the region and drive a wedge between the Central Asian countries and China, which have caused turmoil, conflicts and mayhem, with the unrest in Kazakhstan early last year being the latest example.

Although China-Central Asia strategic cooperation does not target the US, the summit has made it clear that the external forces trying to turn the region into a geopolitical battlefield will never succeed.

Accordingly, President Xi said on Friday, "No one has the right to sow discord or stoke confrontation in the region, let alone seek selfish political interests."

As their joint statement indicates, the six countries will unequivocally support each other when it comes to safeguarding their core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity, national security and economic development.

Taking advantage of their economic complementarity, China and the Central Asian countries should continue to strengthen regional cooperation through Belt and Road projects. For instance, they should work together to realize their full potential of cooperation in green and low-carbon industries, medical services and the digital economy so as to develop new drivers of growth.

The six countries have advanced the Silk Road Economic Belt since President Xi proposed it during his visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. Expectedly, the Belt and Road projects have improved the region's connectivity with China and Europe, benefiting the people in the region and beyond.

The achievements of the Xi'an summit mark an important step toward building a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, a goal that was set at the virtual summit to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Central Asian countries last year.

Steeped in history, driven by actual needs and built on popular support, the China-Central Asia community with a shared future will be characterized by mutual assistance, mutual trust, win-win cooperation and common development.