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13 May, 2014

China, Turkmenistan vow to develop Silk Road strategic partnership

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed a number of deals in Beijing on Monday to develop a stronger strategic partnership.

The documents include an agreement of China-Turkmenistan friendly cooperation, a joint declaration on developing and deepening the bilateral strategic partnership, and development plans for 2014-2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in Beijing, May 12, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

The two heads of states also witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements in areas such as natural gas, agriculture, transportation, finance, culture and local exchanges.

In their talks, Xi said the two countries’ political trust and mutual support had strengthened since both sides set up a strategic partnership in 2013.

China appreciates the firm support Turkmenistan has offered on issues regarding China’s core interests and major concerns, Xi said.

Both countries have maintained close contact and coordination in combating the three evil forces of separatism, extremism and terrorism, and safeguarding regional peace and stability, he added.

Xi said the agreement of China-Turkmenistan friendly cooperation nailed down the principles and directions of developing bilateral ties.

He called the China-Turkmenistan development plans for 2014-2018 a roadmap for bilateral cooperation in the next five years. “The Sino-Turkmen ties will embrace a new period of closer cooperation and development,” Xi said.

Calling the two countries reliable strategic partners, the Chinese president vowed to firmly support the development path the Turkmen people chose for themselves.

Highlighting that the China-Turkmenistan relationship has entered into a higher stage, Berdymukhamedov said his country appreciates China’s respect for its sovereignty and domestic and foreign policy.

Turkmenistan adheres to the one-China policy and supports China’s peaceful reunification, he said.

Berdymukhamedov said he hoped to cement traditional friendship and deepen bilateral strategic partnership with China via his visit, adding that Turkmenistan would like to work with China to complete a project on natural gas as scheduled.

He called on both sides to expand the scale of bilateral trade, explore areas of cooperation in finance, mineral resources, telecommunication, electricity, textile, pharmacy and other areas.

In the joint declaration, the two sides encourage financial institutions of both countries to enhance cooperation and continue to promote the expansion of local currency settlement for foreign trade, and support commercial banks of both countries to set up branches in each other’s country.

Berdymukhamedov said Turkmenistan supports the construction of the Silk Road economic belt.

According to the joint declaration, the two sides are willing to conduct cooperation on railway construction and are studying possibilities of inviting Chinese railway enterprises to participate in a cross-border railway project initiated by Turkmenistan and building a cross-border highway linking the two countries.

The two sides also decided to open more air routes between the two countries, said the declaration.

Berdymukhamedov said Turkmenistan wants to strengthen exchanges on culture, education, sports and youth, adding that his country is willing to fight against the three evil forces of separatism, extremism and terrorism together with China.

Berdymukhamedov arrived on Sunday and is paying a three-day state visit to China at the invitation of Xi.