February 28, 2024

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China Advancing Connectivity and Economic Integration

President Xi Jinping emphasised the creation of a new platform and the opening of fresh opportunities for regional cooperation at the International Conference Centre in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. China is eager to collaborate closely with all parties to plan, establish and expand China-Central Asia cooperation.

Several options are being explored, including the enhancement of various mechanisms focusing on diplomatic, economic, commercial, customs and other meeting opportunities, as well as industrialist committees.

China has put forward a proposal for the establishment of meetings and dialogues in various domains such as industry and investment, agriculture, transportation, emergency management, education, and political parties. This initiative aims to create a comprehensive platform that enables countries to engage in mutually beneficial cooperation across multiple areas.

A primary objective is to enhance economic and trade relations. China will undertake several measures to achieve this, including implementing additional trade facilitation measures, upgrading the bilateral investment agreement and ensuring efficient clearance of agricultural and sideline products through the “green channel” at border ports.

The nation is also committed to organising the “Gathering Central Asia Cloud Products” theme event, establishing a bulk commodity trading centre and advancing trade to new levels of scale and scope.

Enhancing regional connectivity is another priority for China. It seeks to substantially increase cross-border transportation volume, enhance traffic capacity on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan and China-Tajikistan-Uzbekistan highways, and promote discussions regarding the alignment of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project. These initiatives aim to facilitate smoother and more efficient transportation links within the region.

China is committed to accelerating port renovation efforts and actively promoting the openness of the air transport market. Additionally, it plans to establish a comprehensive digital service platform and strengthen the development of the China-Europe train assembly centre. These measures aim to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of port operations, foster greater connectivity through air transportation, leverage digital technology for streamlined services, and further facilitate the seamless integration of the China-Europe train network.

Building a comprehensive digital service platform empowers organisations with enhanced accessibility, streamlined processes, improved customer experiences, increased efficiency, seamless integration, innovation opportunities, data-driven insights, agility, scalability, and ecosystem collaboration. It serves as a catalyst for digital transformation and helps organisations thrive in the digital era.

To expand energy collaboration, China has suggested establishing a partnership for energy development between China and Central Asia. This includes expediting the construction of the D-line of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline, augmenting the volume of oil and gas trade between the two regions, fostering cooperation across the entire energy industry chain, and enhancing collaboration in new energy sources and the peaceful application of nuclear energy. These initiatives aim to promote sustainable energy development, enhance energy security and foster mutual benefits in the energy sector between China and Central Asia.

As part of its commitment to fostering green innovation, China is eager to collaborate with Central Asian countries on various environmental initiatives. This includes joint efforts in managing and developing saline-alkali lands, implementing water-saving irrigation techniques, addressing the ecological crisis of the Aral Sea, and providing support for the establishment of high-tech enterprises and information technology industrial parks in Central Asia.

Central Asian countries have been invited to engage in special Belt and Road Initiative cooperation programmes such as sustainable development technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship and space information technology.

These collaborative endeavours aim to promote sustainable practices, ecological conservation and technological advancement in the region, contributing to the overall environmental well-being and socio-economic development of Central Asia.

Acknowledging the significance of a skilled workforce, there is a commitment to enhancing relevant capabilities. To address science and technology lacunae, China will formulate a dedicated cooperation plan in collaboration with Central Asian countries. This plan, known as the “China-Central Asia Technology and Skills Improvement Plan,” aims to reduce disparities by fostering technological advancement. Additionally, China intends to expand the presence of Luban workshops in Central Asian nations, providing vocational training and knowledge-sharing platforms. Moreover, Chinese-funded enterprises in Central Asia will be encouraged to offer increased local services, further contributing to skill development and economic growth in the region.

China is prepared to provide financial support and free assistance to Central Asian countries, fostering collaboration and facilitating their independent development. This commitment opens up a range of work opportunities for mutual cooperation and progress between China and the Central Asian nations.

The country wants to promote cross-cultural dialogue by involving Central Asian nations in the “Cultural Silk Road” initiative, fostering the establishment of medical and cultural centres, providing scholarships and encouraging cultural tourism through initiatives like the 2009 special train.

Central Asian nations will be supported in strengthening their law enforcement security and defence capabilities, upholding regional security and counterterrorism independently, and collaborating on cybersecurity to preserve regional harmony.


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