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Backgrounder: Basic facts about China-Kazakhstan relations
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13:53, October 29, 2008

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At the invitation of Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan from Oct. 29 to 31, and attend the 7th Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.

Located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan borders Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. Since China and Kazakhstan forged diplomatic ties in 1992, senior officials of the two countries have kept close contacts, and managed to completely solve the boundary issue left over from the past.

The two sides have signed a number of important documents including the China-Kazakhstan Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Strategy for the 21st Century, and the Blueprint for China-Kazakhstan Economic Cooperation and Development, laying solid groundwork for pragmatic cooperation in all fields between the two countries.

In 2005, China and Kazakhstan decided to establish a strategic partnership. Their bilateral cooperation witnessed all-round development and expanded to trade, energy, science and technology, culture, education and many other fields thanks to the guidance and coordination by the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee.

The two sides have also maintained good collaboration in many international and regional organizations such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Zhang Di, economic and commercial councilor with the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan said the past five years saw rapid growth in economic cooperation between the two countries.

In 2007, bilateral trade volume reached 13.87 billion U.S. dollars, 66 percent more than the previous year. In the first seven months this year, trade volume already reached over 10 billion dollars and the overall volume this year is expected to exceed last year.

According to the Kazakh National Bureau of Statistics, China is the third biggest market for Kazakhstan's exports and the second biggest exporter for Kazakhstan during the period from January to September this year.

Trade cooperation between the two countries has expanded from the traditional energy sector to many other sectors.

In April this year, when Beijing Olympic torch relay kicked off its overseas journey in Almaty, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev became the first torch bearer outside China.

During the Beijing Olympics in August, Kazakhstan offered excellent security assistance to China. After the deadly Sichuan earthquake on May 12, Kazakhstan offered timely material aid to China.

Over the past years, Kazakhstan has been firm in cracking down on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism, and supported China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.

In 2007, Nazarbayev said in his state of the union address that China is one of Kazakhstan's major political and economic partners, and further strengthening ties with China is a clear and important guideline in country's foreign policy.

Source: Xinhua

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