|President Xi Jinping meets his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambaev in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Wednesday. Both leaders pledged to upgrade bilateral economic cooperation and achieve common development based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit. PHOTO BY huang jingwen / xinhua |
Strategic partnerships established with all five Central Asian nations
China and Kyrgyzstan agreed on Wednesday to upgrade their ties to a strategic partnership and also to increase cooperation on security issues.
The upgrade means China has established strategic partnerships with all five Central Asian nations, paving the way for consolidated security and economic cooperation between Beijing and the neighboring region in the future.
President Xi Jinping and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambaev, announced the upgrade in ties after a meeting. Xi arrived in Bishkek late on Tuesday for his first state visit there and to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. This is the last stop of his first Central Asian trip, which had taken him to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
During their meeting, Xi said the upgrade in bilateral ties marks a new milestone in Sino-Kyrgyz relations.
"We have common ideals and face the same challenges," Xi said while meeting reporters after talks with Atambaev. Aside from political and economic cooperation, Xi said, the two countries should maintain close coordination on security issues.
The Central Asian country with a population of 5.6 million borders the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Some of the terrorists groups in Kyrgyzstan are connected with terrorist forces in Xinjiang.
Atambaev said while meeting the press Wednesday that "Kyrgyzstan and China will keep close cooperation in security sector, and continue their collaboration in combating the ‘three evil forces'".