|Visiting Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong (L) shakes hands with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev during their meeting in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, on Jan. 10, 2006.|
Visiting Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong
on Tuesday in Astana held talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on boosting bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Zeng Qinghong conveyed the warm congratulations of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Nazarbayev on his reelection as Kazakh president.
Sino-Kazakhstan relations have seen a rapid and profound development in the previous years, Zeng said. The heads of state of the two countries lifted the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership last year, indicating the direction of its future development.
The Chinese vice president noted that the two sides are earnestly implementing the Sino-Kazakh good-neighborly treaty of friendship and cooperation signed in 2002 and the Sino-Kazakh cooperation programs, which run from 2003 to 2008.
While strengthening bilateral cooperation in traditional fields, the two countries are actively opening up new areas of cooperation on humanities, party-to-party exchanges and others, Zeng pointed out.
The two countries have been cooperating with each other in the framework of the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), he said.
While expressing his appreciation for Kazakhstan's support for China on the issues of Taiwan, Tibet and its crackdown on "the three evil forces" -- terrorism, extremism and separatism, Zeng said China will, as always, support Kazakhstan's efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and national stability.
"No matter how the international and regional situation changes, China will remain Kazakhstan's good neighbor, sincere friend and reliable partner," Zeng said, adding that China is willing to work with Kazakhstan to push the good-neighborly, friendly and mutually beneficial relationship to a new level.
To further promote the development of Sino-Kazakh relationship, the Chinese vice president put forward four proposals:
-- to deepen and expand economic and trade cooperation. The two countries should optimize their trade structure, improve their investment environment, strengthen cooperation on big projects in key areas, protect the legal rights and interests of the two countries' citizens and enterprises in each other's territories.
-- to increase exchanges in the areas of humanities. The two countries should strengthen cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, tourism and sports, to make the concept of long-term friendship and peace widely accepted by the two peoples.
-- to strengthen cooperation in the area of security. The two countries should continue to work together to crackdown on the "three evil forces" to safeguard regional security and protect a wide range of mutual interests .
-- to enhance cooperation in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization so that initiatives in the fields of security, economy, humanities will yield more fruit.
In response, Nazarbayev agreed with Zeng's proposals, saying that Kazakhstan is ready to promote cooperation with China in the areas of the economy, trade, energy, security and humanities.
Nazarbayev, for his part, said Kazakhstan regards China as "a sincere friend" and is keen to ensure the relationship is permanent.
He expressed his satisfaction that the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and China has been developing smoothly, with economic and trade cooperation yielding obvious fruits and energy cooperation making new progress.
Nazarbayev observed that the bilateral relationship has witnessed rapid development, despite the fact that the two countries forged diplomatic ties only 14 years ago.
The Kazakh president said Zeng's presence on behalf of Chinese President Hu at his swearing-in ceremony as newly-reelected Kazakh president showed that China attaches great importance to Kazakhstan-China relations.
The Chinese vice president arrived at the Kazakh capital of Astana on Monday for a four-day official visit to Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev's inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday.