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|Thursday, July 06, 2000, updated at 20:57(GMT+8)|
China Wants Closer Ties with Central Asia: President JiangPresident Jiang Zemin said in Ashkhabad Thursday morning that China was willing to continue strengthening ties with the five neighboring Central Asian countries.
Such ties are being developed on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other universally recognized norms governing international relations, Jiang said when meeting with the press alongside Turkmenistani President Saparmurad Niyazov after the two heads of state held their formal talks.
Jiang, on a three-day state visit to Turkmenistan, told the press that the development of the long-term, steady good-neighborly and mutually beneficial relations with the five nations in Central Asia "constitutes an important part of China's foreign policy."
The five nations referred to are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
"China respects the development path chosen by people in Central Asian countries on the basis of their national conditions, and appreciates and supports their efforts for safeguarding national independence and sovereignty, and for promoting national and regional stability," he said.
On economic and trade cooperation between China and these countries, Jiang said that China is ready to expand economic links with them on the basis of equality and mutual benefits.
According to the Chinese President, mutual investment will be encouraged and protected. New ways and means will be explored to fully tap the resources and the compatibility of different markets in the region for common development and prosperity.
He particularly mentioned that China will enhance its cooperation with Central Asian nations in the area of communication. All parties are encouraged to take advantage of the Euroasia Land Bridge, an inter-continental railway system running from China's coastal area to European harbors, and the existing inter-state highway system for "the revival of the ancient Silk Road," as Jiang put it.
He also called on all countries in the region to strengthen cooperation on regional security and stability. Effective measures should be taken to crack down upon all forms of separatism, terrorism and extremism to create an environment favorable for regional development and prosperity.
"We are opposed to any outside forces, in particular military blocs, which destabilize and undermine the interest and security of nations in this region," he stressed.
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