President Xi's Silk Road Stories: Mutual benefit driving China-Tajikistan cooperation

(People's Daily App) 08:41, July 05, 2024

In June 2019, President Xi Jinping published a signed article in Tajikistan's leading newspaper Narodnaya Gazeta and state-run Khovar News Agency, emphasizing the deep bonds between China and Tajikistan as "good neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, good friends who trust each other with all sincerity, good partners engaged in win-win cooperation, and good brothers who support each other all the time."

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, June 15, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

"Every visit feels like visiting family, it is very pleasant," said President Xi, who has led bilateral relations through head-of-state diplomacy, praised people-to-people exchanges, personally told vivid stories of China-Tajikistan friendship and witnessed key milestones of landmark projects. Each Silk Road tale narrates touching anecdotes of enduring friendship between China and Tajikistan.

A Tang tri-colored glazed pottery bears witness to their ancient ties.

"Sogdian musicians and dancers are prominently featured in the glazed potteries from China's Tang Dynasty (618-907) preserved to this day," noted Xi in his 2019 article, a testament to centuries of vibrant interactions, enhancing the enduring friendship between China and Tajikistan.

Numerous stories of enduring China-Tajikistan friendship have been recounted by President Xi. From the imperial envoy Zhang Qian's arduous journey through Central Asia that established the Silk Road in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC–AD25), to the travels of the eminent 7th-century monk Xuan Zang in the Tang Dynasty and Chen Cheng in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) as Chinese envoys of friendship, to the cultural legacies shared by Tajikistan's historical figures like Emir Ismail Samani and poet Rudaki, these narratives resonate deeply in both nations.

For over 2,000 years, the echoes of camel bells and rhythmic horse hooves have carried friendship and cooperation along the Silk Road. Through the centuries, the friendship of the two peoples has withstood the test of time, as solid as the majestic Pamirs.

A thermal power plant measures the warmth of shared sentiments.

A 10-minute drive northeast from the Tajik capital takes us to the well-known Dushanbe No.2 power plant. Situated on the right bank of the Varzob River, this modern thermal power plant not only brings light and warmth to the capital's residents but also stands as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries.

In September 2014, President Xi Jinping and President Emomali Rahmon jointly attended the completion ceremony of first-phase project of the Dushanbe No.2 power plant and the groundbreaking ceremony of second-phase project of the Dushanbe No.2 power plant. Since its completion and operation, the plant has ensured the city's electricity and heating supply.

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who is in China for the China-Central Asia Summit and a state visit, in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, May 18, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)

Luban Workshops build confidence in mutual development.

In May 2023, during his keynote speech at the first China-Central Asia Summit, President Xi emphasized the need to "set up more Luban Workshops in Central Asian countries."

The first Luban Workshop in Central Asia was launched at Tajik Technical University.

Top-notch equipment in the classroom allows students to learn and practice surveying. Sites that used to take 15 days to complete surveys now only take three hours with Luban Workshop equipment. This international vocational education exchange platform, which helps young people in Tajikistan acquire professional skills, has become a shining embodiment of the Chinese saying, "Teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish."

Students learn skills at Luban Workshop in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 12, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)

After the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative, Tajikistan was the first country to sign a memorandum with China to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt. Today, China-Tajikistan cooperation includes large-scale landmark projects such as the Vahdat-Yavan railway and the 500-kilovolt high-voltage transmission line through the Districts of Republican Subordination, as well as livelihood projects like Luban Workshops and upgraded flour processing plants. Tajik agricultural products such as cherries and lemons are now on Chinese dining tables, adding vitality to the mutually beneficial China-Tajikistan friendship.

Mutual benefit and win-win arrangements are the driving force of China-Tajikistan cooperation. Although China and Tajikistan are at different stages of development, the two countries have adhered to the principle of mutual benefit in cooperation, never seek self-interest at the expense of the other, instead, stay committed to the path of common development and prosperity.

As friends grow closer and the road becomes wider, new chapters of Silk Road stories between China and Tajikistan will be written under the Pamirs.

(Planning: Tian Junrong, Ma Xiaoning, Zhao Qiang, Yang Xuebo, Jiang Yun

Coordination: Li Xiang, Meng Xianglin, Liang Changjie, Liu Hui, Song Jingsi, Kuang Xixi, and Wang Xiangyu

Writing: Xu Qing, Cheng Shijie

Translation: Shen Niming and Yang Yang

Proofreading: Jiang Runnan, Qiaowai)

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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