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Week's special: Kyrgyzstan, China are neighbors, friends and partners

At the invitation of People's Daily Online, ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to China, Sultanov Lamil, paid a visit to the Strong China Forum on June 14th, during which he talked freely about the issues of common concern; from Kyrgyzstan's policy on China to Chinese president Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to the central Asian country, and answered questions posed by netizens.

Kyrgyzstan's foreign policy towards China

Ambassador Lamil held that China enjoyed an advantageous status in Kyrgyz diplomacy. The year 2007 marked the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kyrgyzstan and China. In the past 15 years, the two neighboring countries have settled border disputes and established good neighborly ties, in true sense of the word.

"We have witnessed remarkable progress in terms of politics, economy and trade, and culture. Kyrgyzstan's relations with China are not confined within context of bilateral ties, but in a multilateral framework," said the ambassador. Kyrgyzstan and China had worked together closely within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and also had collaborated well together in other international organizations. "Kyrgyzstan regards China as a good neighbor, an intimate friend and a reliable partner," added the ambassador.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization benefits member countries

Upon assuming SCO chairmanship, Kyrgyzstan is making preparations for a series of events to be held later this year. The top priority will be the SCO Summit scheduled for August 16th in Bishkek. Prior to that, there will also be a series of meetings among the top leaders of member countries. The Secretarial Meeting of the SCO Security Committee was held in Bishkek this May, the Defense Ministers Meeting of SCO Member Countries will be held at the end of June, and the Foreign Ministers Meeting of SCO Member Countries, in July.

Ambassador Lamil said that the SCO is an international organization based in Asia, with its main focus being on regional stability and economic development rather than on military issues. There are two issues of great importance to Kyrgyzstan: namely, regional security and the regional economy.

In the event of the sixth anniversary of the SCO, ambassador Lamil extended his sincere wishes to all member countries and their people. The SCO has accumulated a wealth of experience in the past six years, and has become increasingly more established. The SCO��s Secretariat and Anti-Terror Organization was set up in Beijing and Tashkent accordingly. The SCO has been gaining more attention within the international community.

Being well-prepared for Chinese president Hu Jintao's upcoming visit

Regarding Chinese president Hu's state visit to Kyrgyzstan prior to the SCO Summit, Ambassador Lamil said that the country was preparing for it. During Hu's visit, a series of agreements, ranging from politics, trade and economy, to culture, are expected to be signed.

"We are preparing to draft agreements for big cooperative projects in the fields of economic growth: first, the railway construction project in Kyrgyzstan by China; second, the documents for highway construction; third, the collaborative project for water resources; and finally, the establishment of a Confucius Institute in Kyrgyzstan. We also hope to have extensive cooperation between our two countries; for instance, cooperation between certain regions in Kyrgyzstan and provinces in China. Chongqing will be chosen as the first Chinese city to collaborate with regions in Kyrgyzstan," said the ambassador.

Energy cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and China

Kyrgyzstan, with mountains claiming 90 percent of the land, is rich in natural resources, especially in water resources and mineral resources. The ambassador explained that there were three aspects through which trade and economic relations would seek further development: transportation facilities, water resources, and mineral resources.

"Indeed, China is a reliable partner and an active SCO member. I think China has many opportunities to maintain security in Central Asian region, and great potential to strengthen and expand economic and trade cooperation among member countries within the SCO framework," said the ambassador.

China in the eyes of ordinary Kyrgyz people

There is little exchange between people in both countries, despite frequent visits by top, official government leaders. "As the ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to China, I am doing all I can to facilitate the exchange and communication between the two countries, creating more opportunities for Chinese to know about the ancient central Asian country, and for the Kyrgyz to catch up with the robust economic and social development in China," asserted Ambassador Lamil.

Located in central Asia, Kyrgyzstan enjoys particularly favorable geographical conditions - a path linking China's exports to Central Asian countries and Russia. The Kyrgyz government will make efforts in this regard to expand the non-governmental exchanges.

By People's Daily Online

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