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Thursday, July 06, 2000, updated at 21:35(GMT+8)

China, Turkmenistan to Expand Economic, Trade Cooperation

China, Turkmenistan Ink Joint Statement
China and Turkmenistan agreed on Thursday to further expand their bilateral cooperation in economy and trade so as to keep in pace with the development of the overall friendly relations between the two countries.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who arrived in Ashkhabad Wednesday evening on a three-day state visit, and Turkmenistan President Saparmurad Niyazov.

A joint statement, signed by the two presidents, was issued after their talks earlier Thursday.

The joint statement said that in an earnest and friendly atmosphere, the two leaders had an indepth exchange of views on bilateral relations and on regional and international issues of common concern, and reached broad consensus.

The two presidents agreed that the state visit by Jiang, the first by a Chinese head of state to Turkmenistan, was successful and helped bring the Sino-Turkmenistani friendship to a new height.

They promised to continue high-level exchanges and promote bilateral contacts and exchanges in all fields, so as to continuously expand the friendly cooperation between them.

The two presidents agreed on the need to further develop bilateral trade and economic relations, pointing out that there is a great potential and excellent prospects in the area of trade and economic cooperation.

They assured each other of the willingness of their respective countries to further expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

The two presidents attached particular importance to the mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of energy, with China expressing its willingness to encourage Chinese enterprises to take part in Turkmenistan's effort to develop the country's oil and gas resources.

According to the joint statement, the two countries decided that with the implementation of China's project to transport natural gas from the western part of the country to its east, the two countries will conduct feasibility study on the construction of a natural gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan with China.

The two countries also agreed to promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, culture, education, health, media sports and other fields.

The statement said that China and Turkmenistan will strengthen their coordination and take effective measure to fight against separatism, terrorism and extremism, and crack down upon illegal arms sales, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and other criminal activities.

The two countries promised that they will not allow any organizations and forces to engage in any forms of activities in one country to undermine the sovereignty, security and stability of the other, the joint statement said.

Turkmenistan reiterated its position that the government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole China and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory.

Turkmenistan is opposed to any attempt to create "two Chinas," or "one China, one Taiwan" as well as the independence of Taiwan and Taiwan's entry into any international organization with the membership of statehood, the statement said. It reaffirmed that Turkmenistan will never establish any official relations with Taiwan and conduct any official exchanges.

On the same day, senior officials from the two countries signed a framework agreement under which China will provide preferential loans to Turkmenistan and an agreement on bilateral cooperation on oil and gas industry.

Jiang arrived in the city Wednesday evening after a two-day state visit to Tajikistan, where he attended the fifth summit of the heads of state of the "Shanghai Five" nations. The "Shanghai Five" nations are China, Tajikistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

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China and Turkmenistan agreed on Thursday to further expand their bilateral cooperation in economy and trade so as to keep in pace with the development of the overall friendly relations between the two countries.

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