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10:56, August 29, 2008

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In the beautiful capital of Dushanbe, which is located in Hissar valley in the south of Tajikistan known for its vast expanse and meandering mountain ranges, the newly-built Palace of Nations had the honor of greeting its first foreign leader – Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday, or August 27. It was really a memorable day as this imposing palace was put to use as the presidential mansion only a day before, said a press secretary of the Tajik president.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov held a grand welcome ceremony for his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on Wednesday morning prior to their official talks and, at the end of the talks, a joint statement, the Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Tajikistan on Further Developing and Deepening Good-Neighborly and Friendly Cooperation, was issued.

Then, both leaders attended a signing ceremony for more than 10 cooperation documents signed between the two countries, including those accords reached in such spheres as politics, economy, trade, finances and culture. At an ensuing joint press conference, President Rakhmonov told reporters that he firmly believed that President Hu's ongoing trip would be recorded into the annals of good-neighborly and friendly relations between Tajikistan and China.

At the start of their formal talks, President Rakhmonov, who had partaken in the opening ceremony of Beijing's Olympics, spoke highly of the Games' great success. In addition to congratulating Chinese athletes on their eminent contributions, he said Tajikistan had reaped the first medal on such a global stage of strength and elegance at Beijing's Olympic Games, as Tajik athlete Yusup Abdusalomov made Olympic history for his country in the men's Freestyle Wrestling 84 kg final. President Hu thanked Rakhmonov for supporting the Games and felicitated Tajik athletes for making a historic feat.

During President Rakhmonov's state visit to China in January 2007, the two nations inked the Sino-Tajik Good-Neighborly and Friendly Cooperation Treaty, which forged a solid legal basis for the growth of bilateral ties and helped deepen bilateral cooperation. Bilateral trade shot up 73.3 percent in the first half of 2008 year-on-year. In his recent signed article published in the "Voice of Asia", Tajikistan's largest newspaper in Russian language, Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarif acknowledged bilateral cooperation has been expanded with a drastic rise in trade, and that China has become one of the biggest investors in his country. He also said he was convinced that President Hu's current trip would spur the bilateral ties to enter into a new phase.

At the Palace of Nations, two Tajik youth volunteers busy with routine protocols told Chinese reporters that they are learning the Chinese at Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in northwest China, and they have made up their mind to learn it well, since those with a good command of Chinese are more accessible to job opportunities in bilateral trade.

Sino-Tajik friendship has gone ever deeper into the hearts of the people of both nations as their leaders have worked even harder to promote bilateral cooperation. While strolling along streets of Dushanbe, Chinese reporters are often heard friendly local residents greet them with "Ni Hao (how are you)!" in Chinese.

A huge notice board for poetry recital on the occasion of the 1150 birth anniversary of the "father of Persian poetry" Abu Abdullah Rodaki has been hung in front of the gate of a grand theater in the downtown Dushanbe. The board is seen with vivid, fascinating classic verses written in several languages from different countries, and a special classic phrase written in Chinese "Isn't it a pleasure to have friends from afar? – Confucius" is particularly eye-catching.

As one of important activities during his sojourn in Dushanbe, President Hu Jintao inaugurated an unveiling ceremony for the state-run Confucius Institute on Tuesday, the very day he began his visit to the Central Asia nation…

"Small streams will eventually become mighty rivers and seas," as a popular Chinese saying goes. A frequent exchange of high-level visits between two countries and the ceaseless friendly contact or engagement between Chinese and Tajiks have laid down a very solid basis for bilateral friendly ties and it will open up a bright future for bilateral relations between the two nations.

By People's Daily Online and its authors are PD reporters Wu Qimin and Sun Li

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