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President's Turkmenistan visit to boost bilateral ties
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14:04, August 28, 2008

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to Turkmenistan is seen as a latest effort to boost the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Turkmenistan.

Hu is scheduled to pay a state visit to Turkmenistan on Aug. 28-30 after visiting South Korea and Tajikistan, and after attending the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Located in southwestern Central Asia, Turkmenistan, rich in natural resources especially oil and natural gas, has an area of 491,200 square km which borders Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.

As Turkmenian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov told foreignmedia last year when he took office, Turkmenistan is China's closefriend and reliable partner for good.

Noting Turkmenistan takes a pride in the friendship between the two countries, Berdymukhamedov said the bilateral ties can be traced back to the ancient times when the Silk Road facilitated the close link between the two countries.

The road, serving as an important bridge for the economic and cultural exchanges between the East and the West, spread China's tea, silk and porcelain to the rest of the world and also boosted Turkmenian horses' rise in fame.

On Jan. 6, 1992, China and Turkmenistan established diplomatic ties, and the relationship has since developed healthily with frequent exchange of visits by their top leaders and deepened political mutual trust.

The two sides, sharing identical views on major international issues, also have seen fruitful cooperation in political, economic, trade, transportation, social and cultural fields.

In July 2007, Berdymukhamedov paid a state visit to China, a milestone in bilateral ties as commented by the News Agency of Turkmenistan.

During the visit, Berdymukhamedov signed a communique with Hu which identified a clear way to consolidate and further develop the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

According to statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, bilateral trade volume hit 379.96 million U.S. dollars in the first half of 2008.

The unprecedented achievement exceeded the figure for the whole2007 and positioned Turkmenistan as China's seventh largest trade partner in the region of Commonwealth of Independent States.

As Berdymukhamedov put it, cooperation in oil and natural gas has been given priority by the two governments.

The two countries have jointly launched a gas pipeline project. The pipeline, starting from Turkmenistan's Amu-darya River region, passing through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and winding its way to east and south China, has a designed length of some 10,000 km.

Upon its completion, the pipeline will have an annual transmission capacity of 30 billion cubic meters which will last for 30 years.

Source: Xinhua

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