Ties with Kyrgyzstan upgraded
Updated: 2013-09-12 02:27
By Wu Jiao in Bishkek and Li Xiaokun in Beijing (China Daily)
The presidents witnessed the signing of documents, including an agreement on the construction and operation of the Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline, which will be a key part of the fourth Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline is vital to China's domestic gas supply.
The two nations also pledged to strengthen cooperation on energy and electric grid projects.
President Xi Jinping meets Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev in Bishkek on Wednesday. Kyrgyzstan is the last stop on Xi's first Central Asian trip. wang ye / xinhua
The two sides also vowed to boost cooperation in communications and transportation, and study the possibility of establishing cross-border infrastructure facilities.
China is Kyrgyzstan's largest importer and second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade reached $5.16 billion in 2012.
Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Qi Dayu said ahead of the visit that Kyrgyzstan was looking forward to Xi's visit as the Central Asian region faces challenges of economic development and security issues.
As the economic structure of the Central Asian state is still in transition, Qi said, the cooperation between China and Kyrgyzstan will focus on some large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the North-South Road in Kyrgyzstan and an upgrade to the Bishkek power plant.
Credit agreements on the two projects were signed on Wednesday.
Feng Yujun, director of the Institute of Russian Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said economic relations with China is very important for Kyrgyzstan as its current trade volume with China equals the country's GDP.
"China's tangible assistance in Kyrgyzstan's infrastructure construction plays an important role in helping the Central Asian country, which holds a key position in trade in Eurasia," Feng added.
Meanwhile, a railroad that links China with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, that is under construction will form another pathway for China to go global, Feng said.
Atambaev said ahead of the visit that the China-Kyrgyzstan cooperation is important to Kyrgyzstan's "national strategy for sustainable development", a plan launched this year for the Central Asian country's development until 2017.
Kyrgyzstan will spare no effort to strengthen and consolidate its relations with China, which tops its foreign policy priorities, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev said in a recent interview.
Mo Jingxi in Beijing and Xinhua contributed to this story.