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|Wednesday, July 05, 2000, updated at 11:05(GMT+8)|
Tajik President Hosts Banquet to Welcome JiangTajik President Emomali Rakhmonov on Tuesday hosted a state banquet in honor of Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The two heads of state highly praised the development of bilateral ties.
Jiang, who is on his first visit to this Central Asian country, said in his speech that China was delighted to see that under the leadership of President Rakhmonov, Tajikistan realized national reconciliation and social stability with its own wisdom and strength.
The country also scored achievements in economic recovery and development, he said.
Jiang highly commended the smooth development of friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries after the establishment of diplomatic ties eight years ago. The two peoples are having increasingly frequent exchanges which help deepen mutual understanding and trust, he said.
The Chinese president said China is willing to make concerted efforts with Tajikistan to further consolidate and develop Sino-Tajik ties in the 21st century.
Rakhmonov said in his speech that Jiang's state visit is "an extraordinary major event" in the history of Sino-Tajik good- neighborly and mutually beneficial cooperation.
After reviewing the trade and cultural links between the two countries in the past 2,000 years, in particular in the thriving period of the Silk Road, Rakhmonov said his country sincerely hoped that such links would never be cut again, but would grow steadily in the future.
The Tajik president also expressed his gratitude for the political support given by China during the difficult days of Tajikistan.
Tajikistan is determined to deepen mutually beneficial and good- neighborly relations with China, he said, adding that such efforts are "in the interests of our state and conductive to stability in the region.
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